IDRC congratulates first cohort of Women in Climate Change Science Fellows

May 15, 2018

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI) has announced the first ever recipients of the AIMS-NEI Fellowship for Women in Climate Change.

IDRC congratulates Nana Ama Browne Klutse, Jessica Nosizwe Paula Rose Thorn, and N’Datchoh Evelyne Touré. Each of these outstanding African mathematical scientists will receive up to CA$39,000 to conduct research in an African host institution. Their projects are expected to significantly contribute to our understanding of climate change, its effects, and the development and implementation of innovative policies and strategies for mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. The winning proposals were selected following a rigorous assessment process by an international review committee.

The AIMS-NEI Fellowship for Women in Climate Change was launched in September 2017 and is expected to support approximately four fellows per year from 2017 to 2021. The Fellowships are part of a broader AIMS-NEI program of Mathematical Sciences for Climate Change Resilience, made possible by a grant from IDRC and financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada. The program aims to build the intellectual capital needed to solve the myriad challenges to Africa’s development resulting from climate change.

Nana Ama Browne Klutse

Nana Ama Browne Klutse, Ghana

Senior research scientist, Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission

Klutse is a senior research scientist at the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, where she is manager of the Remote Sensing and Climate Centre. A climatologist, she has a background in physics and holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town. Her current research focuses on climate modelling and climate impact assessments on society, health, and food security.

She has worked on national and international projects, including Ghana’s climate communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX). She has co-authored several journal articles and academic books and is lead author of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Klutse has received several awards and was celebrated as a female icon on Intellectual Property Day 2018, a program by the Registrar General's Department to honour successful women in Ghana.

During the fellowship, to be hosted at the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Klutse will investigate the dynamics of extreme climate in Africa and the impact of extreme climate under global warming. She hopes that climate science research will be heeded by African governments.

Jessica Nosizwe Paula Rose Thorn

Jessica Nosizwe Paula Rose Thorn, South Africa

Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University / African Climate and Development Initiative, University of Cape Town

Thorn works to protect essential ecosystem services of importance to humanity, improve resilience to global environmental change, and manage trade-offs between these priorities in smallholder, urban, and mountain systems. She has advised a range of stakeholders in climate adaptation planning in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including the UN International Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction, the Red Cross, the World Bank, Conservation International, and the World Wildlife Fund, as well as the governments of Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, and South Africa. Thorn has co-authored more than 50 journal articles, conference proceedings, reports, manuals, chapters, and science communications. She has received over 20 awards, fellowships, and grants, including the League of European Research Universities, Brettschneider (Cornell), Mind the Environmental Gap (Oxford), and the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence (European Commission). Jessica received her MSc and DPhil from Oxford.

Currently, Jessica is a postdoctoral researcher at Colorado State University, investigating participatory modeling of social-ecological systems. She is an active member of the Global Environmental Facility, contributor to The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity reports, and teaches university courses.

Her fellowship will combine multi-scalar institutional analysis and ecosystem service quantification with probabilistic modeling to understand synergies and trade-offs of ecosystem-based adaptation in peri-urban areas in Namibia and Tanzania. She hopes this will help advance evidence-based decision-making under uncertainty, improve rural-urban linkages, and increase the participation of the African scientific community in global research programs. During her fellowship tenure, she will be hosted by the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

N’Datchoh Evelyne Touré


N’Datchoh Evelyne Touré, Ivory Coast

Research Associate, Université Félix Houphouët Boigny, Ivory Coast

Touré is a research associate at the Université Félix Houphouët Boigny in Ivory Coast. Prior to this position she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratoire d’Aérologie in Toulouse, France, where she investigated the sources of uncertainties in African biomass inventories and the impact of atmospheric pollution on health in West Africa. Touré obtained her PhD, which focused on the impact of aerosols from biomass burning and dust on the West African climate, from the Federal University of Technology in Nigeria in 2015. The results showed that aerosols not only impact rainfall distribution but also greatly influence West African monsoon features.

Touré’s current research investigates the potential changes in climate extremes over West and Central Africa at 1.5°C and 2°C global warming using the regional climate model. As a fellow, her research will assess the impact of climate change on extreme rainfall and temperature patterns over the Ivory Coast in the context of the Paris climate agreement. The results will provide valuable information that can be used by policymakers to formulate mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of climate change on agriculture, human health, and the economy. During her fellowship tenure, Touré will be hosted by the Competence Centre at the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) in Burkina Faso.