People

Instructional Team

 
Dr. Bonaventure Okere (Co-Director)
 
Bonaventure Okere (PhD) is currently the Ag. Director, Centre for Basic Space Science Nsukka, an activity centre of National Space Research and Development Agency, Abuja, Nigeria. He is also the Regional Cordinator , IAU West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development. Bonaventure is a co-founder and Director of WAISSYA.

Bonaventure is the director of WAISSYA's 2019 venue in Abuja, Nigeria

 
Dr. Bernard D. Asabere
Bernard holds a BSc in Physics degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, an MSc in Engineering degree from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and a Doctorate (PhD) in Physics (Astronomy and Astrophysics) from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. He is currently a research scientist at the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute and leads the science engagement group of the Institute. Bernard coordinates and facilitates astronomy outreach and training programmes in Ghana. He is the manager and the local lead scientist (astronomer) of the newly-launched Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory. Bernard is a member of the Ghana team on the SKA (Square Kilometre Array project) Work-group and the champion of the SKA AVN (African VLBI Network) Science Engagement and Communication in Ghana. In addition, he is a member of the EVN TOG (European VLBI Network Technical Operations Group).

Bernard advises the leadership group, works on fundraising, and supports our alumni
 
Wesley Cheek
 Wesley Cheek is currently working in a small village in Liberia with the Peace Corps, teaching science and mathematics and leading community projects. After having helped to run WAISSYA 2017, Wesley has continued to contribute to WAISSYA by being a part of the leadership and strategy group helping to pave the way to making the organization better able to reach its goals.

Wesley advises the leadership group and co-leads long-term venue planning
 
Meiling Deng
Meiling Deng is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She joined the WAISSYA team in late 2015. During the WAISSYA 2017 summer school in Ghana, she mainly worked as an inquiry facilitator and instructor on radio astronomy instrumentation.
Before or after the school, she has been working on data analysis, fundraising, curriculum curation and the general report.

Meiling handles administration and authoring of our general report


 
Dr. Allison Man
Allison Man is a postdoctoral researcher investigating how stars formed in galaxies in the early Universe. In WAISSYA, she co-lead the Alumni Support Working Group. She's interested in involving more professional astronomers in supporting WAISSYA alumni who would like to pursue further studies in astronomy and science in general.

Allison Man is a leading figure in supporting our alumni community
 
Dr. Finbarr Odo
Finbarr Chidi, Odo hails from Enugu State of Nigeria. He holds a PhD degree in astrophysics from University of Nigeria and currently teaches Physics & Astronomy at the university. Finbarr joined the WAISSYA team in 2015 as an instructor. At WAISSYA, he has developed and taught courses on galaxies, cosmology and cultural
astronomy of West Africa.

Finbarr supports our alumni through advising and discovering opportunities
 
Dr. Anabele-Linda Pardi
Dr. Anabele-Linda Pardi is currently working as a software developer at Rohde & Schwarz Munich, Germany. Her PhD is in Physics (more specifically in Astrophysics - Galaxy Formation and Evolution).

Anabele leads our administrative team and is an author of our general report
 
Dr. Jielai Zhang
(Co-Director)
Jielai Zhang has been a part of the WAISSYA team since the start of preparations for the inaugural summer school held in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2013. She hopes to help WAISSYA build up a community of astronomers and STEM leaders in West Africa, and to create long lasting collaborations with her WAISSYA colleagues for education and research. Her PhD was in astronomy at the University of Toronto. She was part of a small team of four that built a radically new type of telescope, which is 10 times better than any that has preceded it at detecting large but faint galaxies. Her research interests also include time domain and multi-messenger astronomy, and interdisciplinary collaboration with medical imaging and machine learning fields. She is currently a Schmidt Science Fellow at the University of Oxford.

Jielai co-leads the team strategy and leadership team
 
Ibik Adaeze Lorreta
Ibik Adaeze Lorreta is a Masters student of Astrophysics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in Nigeria. Her area of research are pulsars. She is an alumnus of WAISSYA 2013 and 2015 and joined the WAISSYA instructors in August 2018.



 


 







 

 

 

 


 








 

 

 

 







Associates

Prof. Romanus Eze
Kevin Govender
Lisa Hunter
Prof. Peter G. Martin
Prof. Francisca Nneka Okeke
Prof. Pius Nwankwo Okeke
Prof. Fidelix Ekeoma Opara
Dr. Michael Reid

Past Team Members

Dr. Kelly Lepo (2013)
Valerie Murray (2013-2015)
Daniel Okoh (2013)
Heidi White (2013)




 
Dr. Linda Strubbe (Co-Director)
 
Dr. Linda Strubbe is Co-Founder and Co-Director of WAISSYA. She is passionate about science education, especially in underserved communities. Linda earned her Ph.D in Astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. Partly inspired by her work with WAISSYA, in 2015 she decided to shift her career from astrophysics research to science education. She spent three years as a Science Teaching & Learning Fellow at the University of British Columbia, designing curricula, teaching courses, and offering professional development in teaching to faculty and teaching assistants. In August 2018, Linda began as a Research Associate with Kansas State University and the online teaching resource PhysPort. Her current work is studying how physics and astronomy faculty learn how to teach, and designing resources to support faculty in their teaching.

Linda leads the Team Strategy and Leadership group
 
Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse
Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse is a Senior Research Scientist at the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute. She is a Physicist and holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She coordinates space science and astronomy outreach programmes in Ghana.

Nana advises the leadership group, supports our fundraising efforts and is a leader in our efforts in Ghana


 
Dr. James Chibueze
Dr. James O. Chibueze is a VLBI Commissioning & Operations Scientist of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Africa/African VLBI Network (AVN). He is a radio astronomer and hold a PhD (Radio Astronomy & Astrophysics) from Kagoshima University, Japan. He has been involved in WAISSYA since 2013 and coordinated the postgraduate stream of WAISSYA. His research is focused on multi-wavelength exploration of the evolutionary sequence of high-mass stars.

 James co-leads long-term venue planning and supports our alumni. He also plays a leading role in our post-graduate stream.
 
Sudum Esaenwi
Esaenwi Sudum is a Native of Gure Town (Ogoni) in Khana Local Government area of Rivers State, Nigeria; a PhD graduate student in Enugu State University of Science and Technology, studying High Energy Astrophysics with concentration on Compact Binary Accreting Stars. His love for Astronomy
development in West Africa motivated him to proceed to the prestigious NASRDA-Centre for Basic Space Science, Nsukka where he is currently working as a High Energy Astrophysicist. He is the head of High Energy Astrophysics Division and has dexterity on the operations of small Optical Telescopes for Astronomy popularization. He also coordinates outreach programs for undergraduate students, primary school pupils, primary and secondary school teachers and students within Nigeria. He is an instructor in the West African International Astronomy Summer School for young Astronomers (WAISSYA) undergraduate stream.

Sudum supports our alumni as well as our group working on publicity and social media
 
Margaret Ikape
Margaret Ikape is a graduate student at the Dunlap institute for astronomy and astrophysics, Department of astronomy and astrophysics, University of Toronto, after having attended WAISSYA in past years. Current research areas include studying the epoch of reionisation with the simons observatory and mapping out the kinematics of nearby galaxies with the wide integral field infrared spectrograph, WIFIS. I am a WAISSYA undergraduate stream instructor, current WAISSYA publicity team lead. I also help organise the WAISSYA mentorship program, a platform to connect WAISSYA students with professional astronomers around the world.

Margaret supports our alumni as well as leads our publicity efforts
 
Dr. Thai Duy Cuong Nguyen
Dr. Thai Duy Cuong Nguyen is an organizer and instructor of the West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers (WAISSYA) since 2013. Dr. Nguyen received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Toronto, and has held research positions at the University of Florida, Stockholm University, the University of Rochester, and the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


 
Dr. Patrice Okouma
Dr. Patrice M. Okouma is a Cosmologist in the College of Graduate Studies at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Johannesburg (South Africa). Since completion of his PhD in applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town in 2012, he has been working as a researcher on topics dominantly at the interface between theory and modeling in cosmology. His interests include the application of Bayesian inference techniques on large Datasets to understand Dark energy. A growing interest in investigations of small scales astrophysical processes and their functional overlaps with space science processes has him being Co-Investigator in a multi-disciplinary collaboration involving space science, radio-astronomy and cosmology. He is a strong advocate of citizen science and leads NOMMO ASTRONOMIA, the Society for Astronomy and Space Science in Gabon.

Dr. Okouma supports our alumni and plays a leading role in the creation and implementation of our post-graduate stream.
 
Lisa Löbling
Lisa is a Phd student at the University of Tübingen in Germany. She joined WAISSYA in 2018 after having been an instructor at the first ESO Astronomy research Training that took place in Ghana. Her filed of study are hot evolved stars and she performed spectral analysis of them.

Lisa supports the publicity working group of WAISSYA.