Mpala facilitates and exemplifies sustainable human-wildlife co-existence and the advancement of human livelihoods and quality of life. We do this through education, outreach, and by developing science-based solutions to guide conservation actions for the benefit of nature and human welfare.

Mpala . . . A Living Laboratory


New Job Opportunity!



The Digital Media and Education Producer (DMEP) is responsible for assisting us in achieving the overarching vision for Mpala Research Centre in relation to public education and awareness, citizen science and communicating the research and conservation work done at Mpala.

DMEP plays a foundational role in expanding the educational and social media outreach of Mpala. We tell the story of living with wildlife sustainably and our mission is to preserve our wild landscape and inspire a new generation of conservation biologists. We are committed to providing a work environment that encourages innovation, collaboration and professional development.

DMEP will work primarily in our MpalaLive! program which is sponsored by 



1. The producer is responsible for promoting and MpalaLive! through social media and other digital media outlets. The producer will work to expand the educational outreach portion of Mpala Live!

2. Provide our sponsor and partner, with the following on a weekly basis:

- Social Media: Mention on Facebook and other social media outlets in relation to the live cams.
- Blogging: Provide with regular blog content, news, and photos to publish to social channels.
- Newsletters: Create campaigns monitor newsletter with Mpala news and promos.
- Live Chats: Schedule, facilitate live chats with experts in the field and cross promote with Explore’s social media team.
- Assets: Provide snapshots, Mpala photos, video highlights.

3. Create and post digital media in all social media outlets for Mpala.

4. Build out Mpala’s YouTube channel, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Periscope, and Facebook page. Many assets already exist. Producer would use those as a foundation and create more.

5. Work to expand’s Field Guide and Stories from the Bush.

6. Expand the educational outreach program of MpalaLive!

- Producer will work to expand the lesson plans and activities in the Classroom section.
- Producer will help to build out the interactive classroom on working closely with Northern Kenyan Conservation Clubs.



1. Combine good communications skills with technical knowledge

2. Prefer associate’s or bachelor’s degree program in media arts, communications, journalism, film/television, production, Literature/English/Writing or other related field

3. Proficiency in content management systems (CMS), especially Express Engine

4. Ability to shoot and edit video, photo and audio

5. Ability to use provided analytics tools, to create and generate focused metrics and reports on social media content impact

6. Proficiency in Adobe Creative Cloud Suite for video and photo editing

7. Outstanding content creation and editorial skills

8. Familiarity with all social media outlets, especially Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, and Instagram

9. Enthusiasm for conservation education outreach and demonstrated interest in educational programs




1. Send a single PDF attachment (filename format: lastname_firstname_date.pdf) with:

- A cover letter that includes a statement of interest
- Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
- Media Council Accreditation

2. Contact information for three references

3. Provide links to your most recent published work in either or all of the formats listed;

- Video stories (with credits shown)
- Print or digital stories with by line

4. Provide a written, 350 word personal statement.

5. Provide links to your social media profiles including: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Send a single email with the above information to Applications will be received until the position is filled. ONLY SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES WILL BE CONTACTED.

Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign 2018 Launch

18th October 2018

The fourth chapter of the annual Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign (LRVC) was launched in a colourful event held at Mpala Research Centre with H.E Ndiritu Murithi, Governor of Laikipia flagging off the exercise.

"Research and good data inform policy formulation. My government is keen on growing and strengthening partnerships with stakeholders like Mpala Research Centre in initiatives aimed at helping the people of Laikipia," the Governor said as he donated vaccination kits and supplies. 

H.E Governor Ndiriru Murithi and Mpala’s Executive Director Dr. Dino J. Martins in conversation during a tour of the Research Centre.


Governor Ndiritu Murithi was accompanied by members of the County Executive Committee including Dr. Lucy Murugi of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Joseph Njalis Shuel of Infrastructure land and Urban development and Mr. Nicholas Biwott Tirop of Trade, Tourism and Cooperatives.  

In March 2015, Mpala based researchers Dedan Ngatia and Dr. Adam Ferguson under the patronage of Dr. Dino J. Martins, Mpala's Executive Director embarked on a mission to eradicate rabies from the Laikipia landscape. The rabies-free Laikipia vision followed the co-founders' extensive research on canines and small carnivores. This intervention came at a time when Kenya was losing 2000 lives annually to the deadly virus.


Mpala’s Executive Director, Dr. Dino J. Martins receives vaccines and supplies for LRVC from H.E Governor Ndiritu Murithi.

In a region where pastoralists, farmers and local communities interface with wildlife every day, rabies poses serious health risks. Every warm-blooded animal is susceptible to rabies, and it is almost always fatal after infection. Rabies is caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system, causing inflammation in the brain.

A volunteer veterinarian during the 2018 LRVC.


In 2018, together with collaborators from the County Government of Laikipia, The Kenya Rangelands Wild Dog and Cheetah Project, Laikipia Wildlife Forum(LWF) and International Livestock Research Institute(ILRI), LRVC targets to vaccinate 15,000 domestic dogs and cats against rabies. This is a scaled up effort from 2017 whose target was 10,000 dogs and cats across Laikipia with a primary focus of vaccinating animals from pastoralist communities. The final count was an impressive 9,300 dogs in over 30 communities.

To donate to the LRVC cause, please go to or in Kenya, through mobile money, MPESA (Paybill Number: 310066 and Account number: LRVC 2018).


The Latest from the Field

Good News for Grevy's in Census Results

After months of analyses, the results of the second-ever Great Grevy’s Rally are in, and the news for the endangered Grevy's Zebra is good. Thousands of photos collected by hundreds of citizen scientists this January have been synthesized into an updated estimate of the Grevy’s Zebra population size and status. Read more >>


Follow us on social media for more updates:

Outreach Spotlight

A Reflection on the Classroom

Sarah Varghese and Akash Kushwaha are summer interns at Mpala supported by the Office of Religious Life at Princeton University. While at Mpala, the students were working on education initiatives with Mpala Academy Primary School and neighboring Daraja Academy. Here, Sarah reflects on her experience.  Continue reading >>

Science in Action

The Great Grevy's Rally II

In January 2018, the second ever Great Grevy's Rally was held on Mpala and across the Kenyan range of endangered Grevy's Zebras. The thousands of photos taken by hundreds of participating student- and citizen- scientists are the basis of a landmark resurvey of the species. Read more >>

Outreach Spotlight

Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign

Over 6 weekends from November through early December 2017, the Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign immunized over 9,300 domestic dogs and cats, more than doubling its 2016 reach, and expanding vaccination coverage to new communities across the county. We are looking forward to expanding our partnerships and growing the campaign even further in 2018. Stay tuned!

What does it take to eliminate a fatal disease? Rabies, a disease that is transmitted between all mammals – wild, domestic, and human alike – kills over 2,000 people in Kenya each year, with a disproportionate impact on young children. Over 98% of cases are caused by the bite or scratch of a domestic dog. Once contracted by a human, the disease is always fatal. 

At Mpala Research Centre, the Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign is mobilizing scientists, veterinarians, and students to fight back against the disease. 
Continue reading >>


The Latest from the Field

Moto Kichakani: Fire in the Bush

How does bush fire affect livestock, wildlife, and the fates of savanna plants? Eric LaMalfa, Ph.D candidate at the University of Utah, explains. Read more >> 


Mpala Live!

Online Education Platform Celebrates 4th Anniversary

As of May 2018, the Mpala Live! program ( has reached more than 42 million online viewers in its mission to excite and educate the public about the wondrous wildlife that graces Mpala’s landscape and the science that fuels Mpala Research Centre. Read more >>

Check out our course blog!

Field Notes from Mpala's Undergraduate Field Semester

Princeton and Columbia Universities


Social Butterflies with Stripes:
Social Networks of Grevy's Zebra


Post and pictures by El Pressman

"It's important to understand how the zebra work together, and for what reasons, because if social behavior is part of what can make a Grevy's Zebra successful, we could use this knowledge in thir conservation."

When we say zebras are social, what exactly does this mean? El explains what she learned from studying the dynamics of Grevy's Zebra during Dr. Dan Rubenstein's Natural History of Mammals course.


One of my favorite projects in our course so far was during Dr. Dan Rubenstein's Natural History of African Mammals class. During this class, we conducted group research projects, and I was in a group with fellow Princeton and Columbia students Lisa, Zach, and Cecley. We were interested in studying the social behavior of Grevy's Zebra, an endangered species of zebra that can only now be found at a few places in Kenya, including Mpala!


We know that Grevy's social behavior is defined by fission-fusion groups: unrelated Grevy's zebra come together to form groups, which reduces the risk of predation and can increase the time each zebra can spend grazing. 

Continue reading > >



Livestock, Wildlife, and Public Health Workshop

28 February - 1 March, 2018

Mpala hosted an intensive short course in animal and public health instructed by Professor John and Mrs. Margaret Cooper. In a series of lectures and practical exercises, attendees learned about interactions between domestic livestock and wildlife health, interactions between these two groups, implications for human health, and applications of these lessons to community outreach.

Above left, workshop participants examine biological samples under a microscope. Above right, a group works through a practical exercise.

Below, participants gather with their workshop instructors, Professor John and Mrs. Margaret Cooper; Mpala Executive Director Dr. Dino J. Martins; and their workshop completion certificates.


May 2017

Mpala participates in the 6th Annual National Science Week Exhibition at KICC, Nairobi

National Science Week, organized by NACOSTI, aims to showcase achievements in science and technology in Kenya and provide a forum for scientists and stakeholders to interact. Mpala participated in this weeklong event (May 22-26, 2017) for the second time this year. At our booth, we displayed informational materials (from our latest Mpala Memos newsletter and brochure to Rangeland Monitoring Guides and short documentaries) and featured poster presentations by our students and researchers.

Kimani Ndung'u gives interested high school students an overview of research and outreach at Mpala.

Researchers Charles Gitonga and Moses Kioko explain research findings that have implications for smallholder agriculture, food security and rangeland management to visitors.

Through the event, we connected with a wide variety of researchers and non-scientists, sparking interest in collaborations and increasing public awareness of our research, outreach and conservation efforts. A big thank you to all our visitors, to the researchers who participated and to our organizing team!


March 2017

"Monitoring Livestock and Wildlife for Healthier Ecosystems” – Training Course

From 16-18 March, Mpala hosted a three-day course that aimed to provide theoretical and practical training in livestock and wildlife health and explore applications of this knowledge to agriculture, wildlife conservation and human communities. 27 participants from Kenya and two international students from Nigeria and India attended the course. Participants were from a range of backgrounds, and included conservancy and ranch managers, rangers, veterinarians and students of biology and environmental sciences.

Left: Participants examine bones, teeth and other samples to make inferences about organisms' health. Right: Veterinarian Dr. Matthew Mutinda examines a blood smear prepared by a course participant under a microscope.

Participants attended morning lectures and afternoon practical sessions, which were both coordinated by veterinarian Professor John Cooper and wildlife lawyer Mrs. Margaret Cooper. Participants were familiarized with different field techniques and with clinical and post-mortem examinations, and received a packet of reference materials to take home with them.

Left: Mpala staff members prepare to examine samples in the field. Right: Professor John Cooper introduces equipment that participants can expect to use while in the field.

While learning about health and safety precautions for researchers and animal health professionals, participants compiled a list of guidelines to prepare Mpala Research Centre’s laboratories to serve as a diagnostic centre for the community.

The course received positive feedback. In the future, we hope to offer more short courses and workshops that are open to the public, and provide more opportunities for Kenyan students and researchers. Please email if you would like to hear about similar opportunities.


September 2016

Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign 2016 (LRVC)

About 2,000 people die of rabies every year in Kenya. Domestic dogs are responsible for 99% of the country’s human rabies cases. The 2016 Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign was coordinated by Mpala researchers, Dr. Adam Ferguson and Dedan Ngatia, veterinarian Dr. Dishon Muloi and Mpala Research Centre staff. This year, the LRVC team aimed to expand their coverage to 2000 domestic dogs and cats (up from the 821 vaccinated against rabies in last year's pilot campaign) across 10 communities (up from 5 last year). The team formed partnerships with numerous individuals and organizations, including the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Laikipia County Government, Africa Network for Animal Welfare, Karatina University, University of Liverpool, and the Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF). The 2016 campaign occured over the 5 weekends of September 2016, in the following communities: Dol Dol, Endana, Il Motiok, Il Polei, Koija, Lekiji, Maramoja, Naibor, Ngobit, and Rumuruti.

Left: An MRC lorry fills up with volunteers, ready for another day of vaccinations. Right: Community members gather at a vaccination station during the first weekend.

In total, 4530 domestic dogs and cats were vaccinated against rabies this year.
Our dedicated field team included vets, Karatina University student volunteers, Mpala Research Centre staff and researchers, LWF Community Liaison Officers and community organizers from the targeted communities. The LRVC team thanks all donors and supporters for their valuable contributions to this effort.

LRVC vets travelled to Laikipia and volunteered their weekends to help with the vaccination effort.


Karatina University students collected data and distributed vaccination cards at the stations, allowing vets to focus on vaccinations.


August 2016

Mpala celebrates World Lion and Elephant Day in Samburu with WildlifeDirect

This August (12-14), WildlifeDirect celebrated World Lion Day and World Elephant Day by taking 91 children from across Kenya on safari in Samburu National Reserve. On this 3-day camping trip, children from Nairobi, Samburu and our own Mpala Academy watched elephants, lions, leopards and other fascinating creatures in the wilderness. They listened to the experiences of rangers, scientists and others who work in conservation, and participated in educational games and activities around a campfire.

Mpala Research Centre was one of several organizations that partnered with WildlifeDirect to make this transformational visit a success. You can learn more about the event in this article by WildlifeDirect CEO, Dr. Paula Kahumbu:


Left: A child examines elephant tracking collars, used by Save The Elephants (STE) researchers to monitor the movement of individual elephants. Right: A child colours in his activity book while reading about lion populations, diets and behaviour.

Left: Children ask STE researchers about the joys and challenges of their work. Right: Children tried their hand at wildlife photography by clicking pictures (such as this close-up) of the lions and elephants they encountered.

Left: Kids venture into the wilderness in open safari buses. Right: Kids enjoy an introductory photography session, conducted by volunteers from Mpala Research Centre.

July 2016

8th Annual Community Conservation Day.

Several primary schools and one secondary school in Laikipia participate in the Northern Kenya Conservation Clubs. Through the clubs, the students and their communities learn about the importance of conservation for their livelihoods. The Clubs held their 8th Annual Community Conservation Day on 23rd July 2016 at Kimanjo Secondary School. The event, supported by Mpala Research Centre and Mpala Ranch, was a great success. Local leaders, staff, scientists and students travelled to Kimanjo from Mpala and around Laikipia to watch the students share their knowledge though plays, games, songs and poems. The students also demonstrated approaches to conservation that they had adopted in their communities through poster presentations.

Left:NKCC teachers and facilitators. Right: Dr. Dino Martins participates in one of the games titled: "What Animal Am I?'

Left: Kimanjo Sec Sch Students entertain guests. Right: A conservation club member from Naiperere Pri Sch briefs the guests about their conservation project on beehives.


May 2016

Mpala Research Centre was happy to participate in NACOSTI's 5th Annual National Science Week from May 16-20. Mpala presented a booth in the Kenyan International Convention Center. We had over 200 visitors to our booth who heard from visiting researchers about their work at Mpala and about the events we have hosted at Mpala in the past year. It was an awesome opportunity to share the great work that is being done at Mpala. Thank you to the visiting researchers Doug Branch, Dr. Jacob Goheen, John Gitonga, Boniface Kimathi, Duncan Kimuyu, Kimani Ndung'u, Dr. Adam Ferguson and Dedan Ngatia. Also thank you to the staff who organized the event and all the visitors who stopped by to learn about the Mpala.


Left: Boniface Kimathi shows one of the instruments used in the work done by Dr. Kelly Caylor's lab. Right: Dr. Jacob R Goheen presents some of his research to a booth visitor.



March 2016

Over the Easter holiday, Mpala Research Centre was privileged to host Ambassador Robert F. Godec, the NTV Wild crew (NTV is a local Media Group) and Daraja Academy students. Their interaction was incredible, and the students had a lot to learn as they visited different research sites on Mpala.

Scientists held interactive sessions with the students in the field, making their learning experience richer, more textured and more memorable.  Immersing students in the very environments they study facilitates their understanding through direct observation, and helps them link theory and practice. We plan to have more of these events in the future!

Ambassador Robert F. Godec, NTV wild Crew, Daraja Academy and part of MRC Team.

Dr. Dino Martins with Daraja students in the field.


Kid's Twiga Tally


As a follow up to the Great Grevy's Rally, Mpala hosted a Kid's Twiga Tally in March. Children from Nairobi, Nanyuki and some of the Northern Kenya Conservation Club member schools gathered at Mpala to count reticulated giraffes and take part in citizen science based research. The children took pictures of the giraffes and using the same 'Hotspotter' software from the GGR individuals will be differentiated based on their patterns. This data will be used to compare the number of reticulated giraffes on conservancies and community lands. 

Hear more about the experience from the Kibera School for Girls below.

January 2016

Mpala Participates in the Great Grevy's Rally

Ambassador Robert F. Godec, Prof. Daniel Rubenstein, Mpala Academy Teachers and students during the GGR Rally.
Mpala was thrilled to participate in the Great Grevy's Rally in January. This rally was a wonderful feat of citizen science. It brought people together to more accurately estimate the population of the endangered Grevy’s Zebra.  During the GGR, scientists, land owners, conservancy managers and members of the public traveled around different  parts of Kenya in groups to take as many photographs of Grevy’s zebras as possible. Then, a software called ‘Hotspotter’ embedded in an Image Based Ecological Information System (IBEIS) will be used to differentiate unique zebras based on their stripes. 


December 2015

Mpala Tick Day

Mpala and University of Illinois held Tick Day at the Research Centre on December 5. Through this event, scientists shared cutting edge research on ticks to members of the surrounding communities. Ticks carry and transmit disease-causing pathogens, 
affect both humans and their livestock, and are constant presence in most of Laikipia. It is therefore important for scientists to share the knowledge they generate, not only within the research community, but also with affected communities.  



July 2015

A Letter from the New Executive Director Dr. Dino J. Martins

Dear students, scientists, friends and the wider Mpala community,
I am deeply honoured and humbled to have been selected to serve as the director of the Mpala Research Centre. I thank the Search Committee, Board of Trustees, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service, scientists and Laikipia community for their support and feedback during this process. This is a very exciting time to be a scientist in Kenya and I look forward to meeting, talking and exploring how we can work together to sustain, grow and celebrate science and education at Mpala. 

Read the rest of Dino Martins' message in the Director's Corner.


June 2014

We've launched!

Mpala welcomes you to Mpala Live!, an interactive website featuring a round-the-clock view of the hippos, elephants, and other incredible species that frequent Hippo Pools. Experience Mpala with scientists as they study relationships among humans, animals, and ecosystems. Learn about the wildlife of Laikipia with a field guide featuring a wide range of species from aardvarks to zebras. In addition, the Mpala Live! classroom introduces teachers and students and parents and children to a unique curricula keyed to Mpala's flora and fauna.

Welcome, and enjoy!



May 2014


Earlier this month, a student group from Goshen College (including 2 Kenyan students from U. of NBI and 2 students from Karatina U.) visited the Lekiji school to install rain gutters.  This completes an earlier project that MRC started where a tank was provided on a cement slab for rainwater collection. Read more about the project here!


Mpala Research Centre's 20th Anniversary!

In 1994, the Mpala Research Centre was nothing more than a small idea born amongst colleagues and friends. Today, it is a world-renowned center that brings in researchers, professors, and students from countries all around the globe. Celebrate our 20th year with us with this month’s special edition of the Mpala Memos!

In this issue, researchers Truman Young, Dan Rubenstein, Ira Rubinoff, Laurence Frank, and Adam Ford reflect back on how far MRC has come in the past two decades, while MRC director Margaret Kinnaird looks to the future of the Research Centre. Learn about the major projects that have been a part of Mpala's history, and dive into the past with our Mpala Time Capsule. Also enjoy anecdotes from current Mpala researchers as they consider what it means to work, study, and explore on Mpala.

Get our newsletter here!

February 2014

This year the Mpala Research Centre celebrates its 20th anniversary!  From humble beginnings in 1994 MRC has grown into a world-class ecological research centre that welcomes hundreds of researchers and students annually from around the globe. Our facilities have expanded tremendously over the years with a  conscious eye for sustainability and a minimal ecological footprint.  Our portfolio of projects includes studies that embrace new and exciting technologies that put MRC at the forefront of ecological advances, and has diversified in ways that allow MRC to contribute significantly to the conservation of Laikipia, Kenya and beyond. We hope that you will join us in celebrating how far we have come in the past two decades and our plans for the future. Keep an eye out for our special anniversary edition of the Mpala Memos this April!


Mpala Research Centre in 1994 [top] and today [bottom]