UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Kenya team

Associated PhD Students

David Kay

David holds a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and an MA in The Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas from the University of East Anglia. He’s currently a graduate attaché at the British Institute in Eastern Africa, working in an administrative role and as a research assistant on a variety of archaeological, anthropological and political science projects.

He’ll be starting an AHRC-funded PhD in archaeology at the University of Cambridge in October, supervised by Professor Charles French, and externally by Professor Henrietta Moore and Dr Matthew Davies at UCL.

His research will form part of the wider programme of the Marakwet Heritage Project at IGP, and will focus on the investigation of temporal changes in Marakwet settlement patterns and the arrangement/use of domestic space. Specifically, he wants to look at the history of household movement up and down the Elgeyo Escarpment above Tot-Sibou village in the Kerio Valley (western Kenya), and complete a geo-archaeological analysis of abandoned compounds utilising soil micro-morphology, geo-chemistry and pollen/phytolith sampling.

He’s aiming to expand on Professor Moore’s original analysis of Marakwet domestic space in space, text and gender by adding archaeological time depth to her study, alongside an increased emphasis on the verticality of Tot-Sibou’s social landscape and the shifting nature of settlement there.

Research publications

Haour, A., Nixon, S., Livingstone Smith, A., Nikis, N., and Kay, D. (in press) ‘The Pottery’ in A. Haour (ed.) Birnin Lafiya: 2000 years in a Dendi village. Frankfurt: Journal of African Archaeology Monograph Series

Email: dave.k.kay@gmail.com

Wanjohi Bernard Kariuki

Wanjohi is a PhD student of Environmental Biology at the University of Eldoret, where he’s also a chief technician and part-time lecturer in the Department of Wildlife Management. Wanjohi's main area of specialization is plant taxonomy, an area he’s worked in for almost 30 years.

His thesis considers the anthropogenic and environmental influence on composition, distribution and utilization of plant species in the Embobut river basin in Elgeyo-Marakwet.

Research publications

  • October 2014: Kipkore, K., Wanjohi, B., Rono, H., Kigen, G., Ethnomedicinal Plants Traditionally Used by the Keiyo Community in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya, Biodiversty, Bioprospecting and Development.
  • February 2014: Kipkore, K., Wanjohi, B., Rono, H., Kigen, G., A study of the medicinal plants used by the Marakwet Community in Kenya, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.

Research grants

  • BIEA small grant; University of Eldoret Research Fund

Email: wanjohibk@yahoo.com

Samuel Lunn-Rockliffe

Sam is a currently undertaking a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Oxford. He’s interested in using archaeological and ethnographic data to engage with the social, economic and environmental conditions of present-day societies.

His current work is focused on exploring the long-term relationship between the Sengwer foraging communities in the Embobut Forest of the Cherangani Hills, and their cultural landscapes.

He aims to create a more rigorous understanding of both the temporality and materiality of Sengwer landscapes, and the importance of this in the construction of their identity. This is particularly relevant in Cherangani given recent attempts by the government to move the Sengwer from the forest, resulting in a legal case hinged upon the issues of conservation and 'indigeneity'.

Research grants

  • Council studentship; British Institute in Eastern Africa Research Grant

Email: sam.lunnrockliffe@gmail.com

To see members of the IGP Kenya team, go to the Marakwet Research Station page of the British Institute in Eastern Africa website.