Severinus Justinian Mutagwaba

PhD fellow


Severinus Justinian Mutagwaba is a Tanzanian PhD Fellow at IHE Institute of Water Education since May 2017. His research is on land use effects on the aquatic macroinvertebrates and tadpoles metacommunity patterns and processes along the Kihansi River in Tanzania under the Water Science and Engineering Department. He has a MSc. and BSc. Wildlife Management both from the Sokoine University of Agriculture Morogoro Tanzania 2003 and 2010.

He worked in the wildlife management sector as the district wildlife officer from 2005 through 2009.

He joined the Kihansi Spray Toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis) Recovery Program in 2010 under the Lower Kihansi Environmental Management Project and later the current Kihansi Catchment Conservation and Management Project.

The program addresses environmental issues emanating from the Hydropower Project that diverges water from the Kihansi River before it enters the Kihansi Gorge; the only habitat for the spray dependent toad. The toad gives birth to live complete toads. The toad was extinct in the wild since 2003 to 2012 when its reintroduction started. The whole Kihansi River catchment is also a focus for ecological, environmental and energy production purposes.

His master’s research was on distribution and diversity of wetland birds along Lake Burigi in Tanzania. With the current occupation on ecological research and monitoring in the Kihansi Gorge and the PhD program He has thus developed skills on aquatic ecosystems, environmental management and managerial expertise.

He has interest in research on aquatic systems, birds and amphibians coupled with spatial technics in developing ecological understanding of the most threatened areas like rivers and wetlands.

Research Summary

The main focus of the research is investigation of the aquatic macroinvertebrates and tadpoles local communities as they are linked by dispersal of potentially multiple interacting species. This is basically a study about aquatic communities assembly organization and structuring mechanisms. As land uses threaten the aquatic ecosystems the research will explore how they interact with other environmental factors to affect the patterns and structuring mechanisms of this aquatic metacommunity.

The research being carried out in aquatic environment intends to add knowledge on metacommunity concept to be carried out in Afrotropic environment. The study site is within one of the Global Biodiversity Hotspot. This makes the knowledge to benefit the research and conservation science in respect to the study subject.

The study is expected to contribute to water bioassessment and biomonitoring. 


Makange, M., N. Kulaya, E. Biseko, P, Kalenga, S. Mutagwaba, G. Misinzo 2014. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis detected in Kihansi Spray Toads at captive breeding facility (Kihansi, Tanzania).doi:10.3354/dao02775.

Mutagwaba, S. J. & J. R.M. John.  2014. Kihansi spray wetlands under mitigation measures and its implication to the biodiversity of the resultant ecosystems. J. Bio. & Env. Sci. 5, 4:204-213.

Cuthbert, L. N., Goboro, E. M., Ngalason, W., Mutagwaba, S., Ugomba, R. S., Nassoro, M. and Nkombe, E. S. 2017. Conservation efforts of Kihansi Spray Toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis): its discovery, captive breeding, extinction in the wild and its reintroduction. Tanzania Journal of Science. 43(1):23-35.

Other information

Water Scarcity Workshop-at the IVM-VU Amsterdam September 2017.

PhD Symposium at IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education October 2017.

SENSE A1: Research in Context SOEST October 2017.

Where there is little data: How to estimate design variables in poorly gauged basins 30th Oct-10th November.


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