Interesting alumni: Dr Thomas Risley Odhiambo

The Late Dr Thomas Risley Odhiambo (1959) (born.Fev 4, 1931- died May 26, 2003)

Thomas odhiambo was a prominent Kenyan scientist who founded the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), an international insect research centre renowned for giving African farmers low-cost solutions for pest control.

Dr. Odhiambo, matriculated at Queens’ College Cambridge in 1959, reading Natsci, and later graduated with a PhD in Insect Physiology becoming the first Kenyan to study at Queens’ College. He was the first Professor and Head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Nairobi and was the first Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture. Among his many honors, Dr. Odhiambo was the 1987 laureate of the Africa Prize for Leadership.

He founded what became the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology(ICIPE) in 1967 at the University of Nairobi, where he taught. As founding Director of the ICIPE, his research focused on developing sustainable solutions to the pressing need for increased food production and improved health in rural communities.

In 1985, Professor Odhiambo's efforts to develop and promote scientific expertise among Africans led to the establishment of the African Academy of Sciences. In addition, he served as founding Vice President of the Third World Academy of Sciences until 1999, founding President of the Association of African Science Editors until 1995 and founding President of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences until 1994. The author of more than 130 papers and monographs, Professor Odhiambo also wrote children's books designed to educate, inspire and entertain the children of Africa.

Prof. Odhiambo published some 110 scientific papers and books, mainly in the field of Comparative Insect Endocrinology, and more specifically in the area of Hormonal Control of Insect Reproduction.