The University of Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier (UPS) recently welcomed Kenneth K’oreje, from the Kenyan Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation (MWSI), for a 3-month secondment as part of the H2020 MSCA-RISE INSA project.
Kenneth is an experienced environmental and water resources management expert, with a focus on water quality management and pollution control, at the Water Resources Authority (WRA) – a national public water resources regulatory agency under the MWI.
During his secondment, Kenneth was hosted by the Platform for Physical-Chemical Analysis (PAPC), in the Functional Ecology and Environment Laboratory at UPS. The platform is dedicated to analysing samples of water, sediment, soil and biological matrices from both natural environments and laboratory experiments. During his stay, Kenneth worked primarily with Frédéric Julien (Technical Manager), Didier Lambrigot (Research Technician), Corinne Pautot (Technical Assistant), and Dr. Frank Gilbert (CNRS Research Director).
The main objective of Kenneth’s stay was to gain skills in laboratory analysis of water, soil, sediment and plant matrices. To this end, Kenneth participated in all stages of the analytical process, including sample collection and preparation, instrumental analysis, and data analysis and presentation. He employed a variety of cutting-edge equipment to perform a large range of analyses, including: ion chromatography, spectrophotometric analysis, elemental analysis of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur in soil and plant tissue samples, and granulometric analysis of particle size distribution in soil, microplastics and plant tissues. In addition to in-lab activities, Kenneth also had the opportunity to participate in a marine sampling campaign in Arcachon, and in a demonstration of employing drones for ecological mapping.
The secondment likewise allowed Kenneth to develop new soft skills, which are equally important for the successful management of a laboratory. It also provided an important networking opportunity, creating links with European colleagues that will be particularly useful when researching and sourcing new equipment for WRA.