Obtaining her Ph.D. at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Fiona is carrying Flag #34 to Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya, to assess the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of lead, mercury, and cadmium in the micro-algae and fish (Oreochromis Nilotic us and Lates niloticus) she collects from the water. Fiona has a BSc in Biology at University of Nairobi and MSc in Ecology from her current institution. 

Like many bodies of water around the world, Lake Victoria is being affected by rising pollution levels. Combating pollution and providing alternative solutions for more effective lake usage requires a more concrete understanding of the current ecological problems facing its plant and animal life. While on expedition, Fiona will be collecting fish, sediment, water, zooplankton, and phytoplankton samples at two different times during Kenya’s dry season. Her methods will include using an Ekman grab to collect the bottom soft sediment in the lake at about 500 – 1000 meters from the lake shore, water sampling using a Ruttner sampler, and buying freshly caught tilapia and Nile perch from the local fishermen, allowing her to analyze the bone, tissue, and stomach samples from fish in multiple locations on the lake. 

Fiona’s work aims to impact not only the life in the lake, but the local populations that rely on it. She will return to Kenya in April and again in September 2024 to conduct two more collections during the rainy season.