Dr. Jane Ambuko is a senior lecturer and head of Horticulture at Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection of University of Nairobi. She holds a Bsc Agriculture and Msc Horticulture from University of Nairobi (Kenya) and a PhD in Agricultural Sciences (Pomology and Postharvest Major) from Tsukuba University (Japan). She is a horticulturist with specialization in Postharvest science and technology. In this regard, she has received additional training on postharvest from the Postharvest Education Foundation, USA and Postharvest Training Center, UC Davis.
At the University, she is involved in teaching, research and outreach activities. Her research is focused on adapting, validation and promotion of postharvest technologies – special focus on appropriate technologies for smallholder farmers in developing countries. Some of the technologies she has been involved in validation and promotion include the Coolbot™ (a low-cold alternative to conventional cold rooms) developed by Store-It-Cold LLC, USA; evaporative cooling technologies (including zero energy brick cooler and charcoal cooler), modified atmosphere packing (MAP), small scale processing of fruits and vegetables, among others. She is involved in several collaborative research projects focusing on various aspects of crop production and postharvest management. Under these projects, Dr. Ambuko has supervised and mentored several graduate students in various disciplines. Besides teaching and research, she is involved in outreach and capacity development activities to empower smallholder farmers especially on postharvest management and market access.
Dr. Ambuko has authored several papers in peer reviewed journals and presented research findings in national, regional and international forums. She is a member of several professional associations including the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS), American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS), Horticultural Association of Kenya (HAK), Kenya National Young Academy of Sciences (KNYAS). She is a recipient of a number of prestigious fellowships including the Norman Borlaug Fellowship (2013-2014); African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund – ABCF (2014-2015). In 2013-2014, Dr. Ambuko was appointed by the FAO-United Nation’s Committee on Food Security to the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) project team the on ‘Food Losses and Waste in the Context of Sustainable Food Systems’ which releases HLPE report (#8).