Florence Wambugu Biography
Florence Wambugu (Florence Muringi Wambugu) was born 23 August 1953. She is a kenyan plant pathologist and virologist. She is known for her advocacy of using biotechnology to increase food production in Africa.
Florence Wambugu Education Background
1991: Graduate student at the University of Bath, England, PhD Honorary Degree (Doctor of Science)
1984: Graduate student at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA, Master of Science in pathology.
Undergraduate student at the University of Nairobi, Bachelor of Science in botany and zoology.
Florence Wambugu Career
Florence Wambugu is the Founder, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International (AHBFI) from 2002 to the present.She is a renowned plant pathologist and virologist who is dedicated to fighting hunger, poverty and malnutrition in Africa. She has made significant contributions in research, development and improved production in maize, pyrethrum, banana, sweet potato, sorghum and forestry in Kenya and Africa.
From 1991 to1994, Florence Wambugu was a post-doctoral fellow at a plant science biotech company in the United States, where she used gene technology to help develop sweet potato crops resistant to virus diseases. The project produced a transgenic virus resistant sweet potato that is being tested in Kenya, and trained several African scientists who are now involved with bio-transformation of more sweet potato genotypes, in gene-technology for widespread impact in the region. Between 1978 and 1991, Dr. Wambugu was a Senior Research Officer (Pathologist) and Coordinator of Plant Biotechnology Research at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in Nairobi.
In 1981, Dr. Wambugu and KARI received the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture’s Award for successful establishment of a tissue culture laboratory in support of root and tuber crops germplasm improvement.
Florence Wambugu Membership
- Board member of Private Sector Committee of CGIAR,
- Board member of United Nations Millennium Development goals Hunger task force
- Council Member of the Japan Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum.
- Member of the Global Agenda Council on food Security of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
- Member of the Science Board
- Member of Grand Challenges for Global Health (GCGH).
- Member of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Steering Committee Member of the European Action on Global Life Sciences (EAGLES).
Florence Wambugu Publication
- Modifying Africa: How biotechnology can benefit the poor and the hungry: A case study from Kenya.
Florence Wambugu Awards
- 1981: IITA’s (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria) Award.
- 1989: Crop Science Award for outstanding scientist of the year
- 1989: International Potato Center’s (CIP) Regional Research Award/Grant.
- 1990: Farmers Support Award, Pyrethrum Marketing Board of Kenya.
- 1991: recognised as an exemplary PhD candidate, Virology Division of Horticultural Research International in England and KARI
- 1992: Monsanto Company Outstanding Performance Award
- 1993: Monsanto Company Outstanding Performance Award
- 2000: first place medal winner, Global Development Network Awards, KARI Year
- 2000: World Bank Global Development Network Award for successful introduction of the tissue-culture banana in Kenya
- 2002-2003:Woman of the Year Award by the American Biographical Institute.
- 2002-2003: Woman of the Year by the Eve Magazine.
- 2008: Yara Prize from the Norway-based Yara Foundation for her significant contribution to fight hunger and poverty in Africa.
Florence Wambugu Photo