University Affairs Overview

Shimelis Beyene

Shimelis Beyene

Visiting Research Scientist

UNL - Agronomy and Horticulture
Ethiopia, Food Security, Health, Natural Resource Management
My research interests include community-based natural resource management and food security among smallholder farmers and pastoralists in Ethiopia. Since 2010, I have been involved in interdisciplinary food-security research initiatives in two drought prone areas. I am particularly interested in: (a) traditional coping strategies; (b) the effects/impacts of interventions, such as the introduction of irrigation, on food security and health; and (c) factors that influence agricultural technology adoption and diffusion among smallholder farmers. My other area of research is community-based natural resource management among pastoral communities in the Great Rift Valley. For example, in some areas of the GRV, pastoralists have complex traditional management system of the palm forest. They have been harvesting and selling dry palm leaves to a group of merchants for at least two generations. Government officials view the current community resource use as overexploitation that may lead to degradation of the palm forest and are attempting to implement interventions that may undermine the traditional management system. Interdisciplinary research is critical to address these conflicting views on natural resource management practices. Overall, my research interest lies in applying the bio-cultural perspective to better understand human adaptation in food insecure regions of Ethiopia through interdisciplinary, applied research.