Meet our Brackenology team​

19th Feb - Written by Carmichael McKelvey



Jono is our team leader. He has been on site since October 2019, and had been working with Brackenology remotely for a few months before that from Bristol in the UK. Jono has been educated in Human Geography (the study of the interaction between communities and their environment) and Practical Sustainability. Jono was drawn to Brackenology because of its vision for Brackenhurst, which is to increase sustainability, interact with the community, and register the campus as a botanic garden. Brackenology also interested Jono because of its team and potential. By working with Brackenology, Jono hopes to curate a botanical garden which brings species of indigenous plant life from the brink of existence and shares their stories in an engaging way. By doing this, Jono hopes to curate a space for people to come together and experience the natural world in peace and tranquility. Finally, Jono wants to co-create a management plan for the forest here to provide benefits to all of our community members.


Nicola is in charge of our graphic design and marketing. She was born and raised in Kenya, and joined Brackenology because she loves the concept and thinks that this sort of organization is missing in Kenya. Before working at Brackenology, Nicola studied fine art in Bristol, UK. Along with this, Nicola has a TEFL qualification and a permaculture design course qualification. She has now been working with us for a year, and has seen this as an opportunity to learn about the indigenous plants and culture. Nicola hopes to use Brackenology to encourage people to reconnect with nature through engaging with the gardens, the forest and art work. 


My name is Carmichael. I’m the person writing this blog post. I started an internship with Brackenology in the beginning of January. I am a proud alumnus of Woodland Star, which is where I developed a passion for nature. I grew up on the Brackenhurst campus, but I realized that I don’t have much knowledge about the plant life here. This led me to work with Brackenology, which I saw as an ideal way to learn about and interact with the natural world around me. I have no college degrees yet, but I am planning to study economics and work in the renewable energy industry. I hope to use this experience with Brackenology to help the organization grow, so that it can connect more people to nature.


Mwongela has been working with the landscaping side of Brackenology for nine months. Through this work, he hopes to make a difference for the environment by showing the natural beauty of the plant world. Makueni County in Eastern Kenya is home to Mwongela. He studied agriculture in school, and has since been interested in everything to do with cultivating plants and flowers. Mwongela is especially interested in the interactions between places, plants, and people, and chose to work with Brackenology to develop more skills in this area.


Herbert is an expert in seeds and plants. When walking in the forest, he can recognize almost every tree or shrub in sight. He has been working with Brackenology since its creation over a year and two months ago. Herbert was interested in working with Brackenology because he felt the need to share the story of our conservation and forest with the community, and was excited by the creative energy on the team. Herbert has a BSc. in Analytical Chemistry and plenty of work experience that has added to his expertise, including an internship with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KERFI) and training with the BGCI Global Tree Campaign. He is from Nyamira County, but grew up in Thika, which is a town close to Nairobi. Herbert hopes that working with Brackenology will enable him to be part of the bridge between hardcore conservation sciences, such as forestry, and common people like farmers and artists.