and field experience
1. Ethnobotany (perception, use and
management of plants by indigenous people)
The main projects in which I have been involved have
This work involved extensive interviewing of a variety of
people (e.g. community elders, traditional healers, priests,
household members) using questionnaires to find out about
community use and management of plants. Mores specifically this
- Collecting general information on the status of
- Assessment of the use of woodland products by local
- Gathering data on the trade structure
- Collecting information on the existence of regulations
pertaining to wildlife medicinals and traditional medicines
- Government trade statistics on exports of wildlife
- Conservation status of wildlife medicinals in trade
including species-specific information on animals and plants
- Data analysis to develop a final list of priority species
2. Plant collection, identification and preservation
I have lead and carried out a number of specimen collections
in most of the Ethiopia as well as in other parts of Africa
(Cameroon and Tanzania) and in Malaysia. To-date 430 voucher
specimen have been collected. These have been preserved,
identified and deposited at the National Herbarium. All specimen
have been identified using standard botanical techniques
including herbarium collections.
3. Vegetation surveys and inventories
I have carried out a number of vegetation surveys and plant
inventories including field investigation and assessment of
literature and expert opinion.
The following specific research activities have been carried
out in various projects:
- Measurements of plant biomass
- Biodiversity assessment of church and monastery grounds
- Measuring cover abundance of vegetation
- Identification of plants that resist the water-stress for
4. Soil sampling and analysis
Carried out fieldwork and chemical analysis in the laboratory
as a Ph.D. student Assistant to fire ecology research project
and for the Addis Ababa University project ‘Rehabilitation of
Degraded Areas Project’
5. Mammal survey
Assessment of elephant populations in SW Ethiopia for the
Ethiopian Elephant Conservation Development Programme, funded by
the European Union and working in collaboration with the
Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Organization and National
Herbarium, Addis Ababa University.
My duties were:
- Interviewing local people
- Leading field team
- Recording elephant density in south west forest of
Desalegn Desissa (2008) Sacred sites, culture and biodiversity importance, threats & successes. EWNHS, Addis Ababa.
Binggeli P., Desalegn Desissa, J. Healey, M. Painton, J.
Smith and Zewge Teklehaimanot (2003) Conservation
of Ethiopian sacred groves. ETFRN News 38, 37-38.
Zemede Asfaw and Desalegn Desissa (in press). Interaction and
interdependence of agro-biodiversity and wild biodiversity in
Ethiopia. Sinet (J. Ethiop. Sci.)
Zemede Asfaw, Desalegn Desissa and Tesfaye Awas (in press).
Ethnobotany of Nations, nationalities and people of Ethiopia.
Research and Publication Office of Addis Ababa University, Addis
Binggeli P. and Desalegn Desissa (2002) Lantana
camara - the invasive shrub that threatens to drive
people out of their land. Newsletter of the Ethiopian Wildlife
and Natural History Society April-June 2002, 4-6.
Desalegn Dessisa and P. Binggeli (2002) Knowledge
of woody plant resources and their utilisation by the clergy
and local communities in Ethiopian church and monastery yards.
In People and biodiversity - Program & Abstracts of the
Eighth ISE International Congress, p 52.
Desalegn Desissa, P. Binggeli and J. Smith (2002) Aba
Hailegebresilasse - Lalibela's tree planting monk.
Newsletter of the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society
Jan.-March 2002, 4-6.
Desalegn Desissa (2001) Cheleleka (Mogle) mountain walk,
4-11-2001. Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society -
Indoor and Outdoor Notice of Events, including Reports 58, 2.
Desalegn Desissa (2001) Traditional
Oromo religion. Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History
Society - Indoor and Outdoor Notice of Events, including Reports
Desalegn Desissa and C.H. William (1999). Survey of Medicinal
Plants in Mbomole and Mlessa Village around Amani East Usambara,
Tanzania. TBA project report.
Desalegn Desissa (1998). Economic value of medicinal plants
in Ethiopia. In Biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of
medicinal plants in Ethiopia, pp. 102-122. IBCR, Addis Ababa.
Desalegn Desissa, Tseyhnesh Lemma and Endalemaw Gadissa
(1996). Ethiopian Wildlife Trade. Unpublished report to IUCN.