Dr. Irena Creed, Chief Hussein and Mayor Jonathan Warothe in Naivasha, Kenya (photo: D. Keddy)
Dr. Irena Creed is a Canada Research Chair in Watershed Sciences, and Professor in the Departments of Biology, Earth Sciences and Geography where she investigates dominant factors regulating energy, water and nutrient processes and pathways in watersheds.
As a member of Western’s Ecosystem Health – Africa Initiative, Creed works with colleagues from various disciplines to understand interactions and relationships between the environment and human health. The initiative seeks to improve the well being of communities in sub-Saharan Africa, notably around Kenya’s Lake Naivasha, which has witnessed rapid growth due to floriculture, ecotourism and geothermal energy production. These benefits have not come without a cost, as the influx of population and industry has also resulted in pollution to the lake and land, extreme poverty and an increased incidence of social diseases and HIV/AIDS.
Creed is The Africa Institute’s second director, following founding Director Political Science Professor Joanna Quinn, who served from 2010-13. Quinn presently serves as director of Western’s Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction.