Dr. Aster Gebrekirstos is a scientist at World Agroforestry (ICRAF), where she leads the Dendrochronology Laboratory. She is also a principle investigator, representing ICRAF, at the USAID-funded Africa RISING project and is involved in several other projects in Africa and Asia. She has over twenty years of experience in research, tertiary level teaching and consulting. She also lectures at universities in Germany and at the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change (WASCAL) PhD programme in Cote d’Ivoire.
Her areas of specialization include dendrochronology (tree ring analysis, stable isotopes and plant-climate interactions), plant ecophysiology (plant water relations, application of stable isotopes to the study of plant eco-physiological processes and global climate changes), tropical forest ecology and management (effects and consequences of global climate change on biodiversity and livelihoods), watershed management, agroforestry, reforestation and dry land restoration.
Dr. Gebrekirstos established ICRAF’s Dendrochronology Laboratory in 2013 and the laboratory at Ethiopia’s Wondo Genet College of Forestry in 2010.
In recognition of her research, Dr Gebrekirstos has received distinctions, notably, the prestigious African Climate Award for excellence in research in climate change adaptation and mitigation in 2014. She also received the 2009 Special Award for Ground Breaking Science – African wide Young Professionals and Women in Science Competitions organized by CTA, ATPS, AGRA, FARA, RUFORUM and NEPAD. In 2016, she was awarded a visiting professor position under the University of Dresden’s Eleonore Trefftz Programme for Visiting Women Professors. She also serves on the Mountain Research Institute Science Leadership Council and is a member of many societies.
Dr Gebrekirstos holds a BSc in Forestry from the Alemaya University in Ethiopia. She won the Netherlands Fellowship Program for her MSc at Wageningen University (1996-1998) and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for her PhD at Gottingen University in Germany (2001-2005). Prior to that, she worked as graduate assistant at Alemaya University. After her MSc, she worked as a lecturer at Debub University Wondo Genet College of Forestry. After her PhD she worked as a post-doc in the department of Biophysics and Biochemistry at Umeå Univ, Sweden (2006-2008) and at ICRAF in Nairobi and Göttingen University in Germany (2009-2011).
- On-going project: RISING voices: Aster Gebrekirstos (ICRAF) scientist for Africa RISING in Ethiopia
- Tree rings expand African climate records
- Enabling research-to-policy dialogue in Africa, Dr Aster Gebrekirstos
- Africa-RISING early win project – integrating tree, crops and livestock in Ethiopian landscapes