Contribution of Alumnus Aschalew Haile Lakew was crucial for success of LARIMA project

12. October 2020
Dr. Aschalew at the middle-section of the Awash river helping fish scientist to gather data
Former scholarship holder Aschalew Lakew had a crucial role in implementing the LARIMA project in Ethiopia. He organised in total three week-long expeditions along 1200 kilometers of the Awash river and he was involved in the current paper publication.

Within the APPEAR financed project Sustainable Highland Rivers Management in Ethiopia | LARIMA Aschalew Lakew was the National Coordinator for Ethiopia. “It would have been impossible even to start the project without his enthusiastic energy and inspiring interest in freshwater ecology combined with his belief in social and economic development of rural Ethiopia. He constantly supported and carried the project on all different levels, either academically or politically, and opened the door to local events” said the project coordinator Dr. Wolfram Graf, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, BOKU. He further describes Aschalew as an open-minded person who helped in the field, organized meetings and workshops and disseminated the outcomes of the project via media and conferences with the team of at the National Fisheries and Aquatic Life Research Center (NFALRC).

Within the framework of the recently published paper on “Longitudinal river zonation in the tropics: examples of fish and caddisflies from the endorheic Awash River, Ethiopia” Dr. Aschalew took a crucial role. Without his support and ability to organize the in total 3-week long expeditions along 1200 river kilometers of the Awash the project would have failed for sure. His talent to find viable solutions in almost hopeless situations, consists of passion paired with excellent communication skills and a great sense of humour.

The basis for his remarkable career  - besides his personality - however, was a scholarship from the Austrian Development Cooperation which allowed him to deepen his scientific interest in cooperation with scientists from foreign countries. Dr. Aschalew Lakew Haile was born in 1976. His academic curriculum spans a B.Sc. degree in Biology at Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Further, a M.Sc. degree with distinction in Environmental Science, with specialization in Limnology and Wetland Ecosystems from the UNESCO‐IHE, Institute for water education Delft, The Netherlands, in collaboration with Austrian Academy of Science and the Institute of Limnology, Mondsee, Austria. His PhD was obtained at BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. Despite his youth he was already the Head of Biology Department at Dilachin Secondary school, Addis Ababa and several times Director at the National Fisheries and Aquatic Life Research Center (NFALRC).

  • Latest publication

Englmaier, G. K., Hayes. D. S., Meulenbroek, P., Terefe. Y., Lakew. A., Tesfaye, G., Waidbacher, H., Malicky, H., Wubie, A., Leitner, P. & W. Graf (2020): Longitudinal river zonation in the tropics: examples of fish and caddisflies from the endorheic Awash River, Ethiopia. Hydrobiologia