Letter of condolences

The members of the Maasai Mara Science and Development Initiative (MMSDI) are deeply saddened by the news of the demise of Professor Richard Samson Odingo, Emeritus Professor of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at University of Nairobi and President of our international research community.

Professor Odingo played a vital and indispensable role in the foundation of the Maasai Mara Science and Development Initiative. At the founding meeting in December 2014 he inspired and set direction for how the initiative could contribute to conserving the Maasai Mara ecosystem, its rich wildlife and culture through interdisciplinary research and development initiatives.

The founding meeting set the start for a strong long-term cooperation between University of Nairobi and Aarhus University (Denmark), formalized in 2015 by a MoU between the two universities.

At the research conference at Maasai Mara University in Narok in April 2015 he set the challenges of the Maasai Mara in a climate change perspective, contributing with his deep research based knowledge about the consequences of climate change to Kenya and the world.

In the following years, he has been a strong ambassador for the MMSDI and has provided invaluable advice to the more than 20 research projects and 13 master thesis projects that so far have been started.

Professor Odingo was a very kind and wise man. In the 1960´ies he visited Denmark as a young ph.d student. He often told about his happy memories of Denmark, the green fields and the blue sea and of the friendly Danes he met. So apart from our mutual research interests we quickly created warm personal relations and we are very grateful for having had the chance to get to know such a warmhearted, present and giving man.

At this time of mourning and grief over the loss of this kind and wise man, the research community of the Maasai Mara Science and Development Initiative wishes to condole with the family and friends of the Late Professor Odingo. We send our warmest thoughts to especially Dr. Alice Odingo and their daughter Kristina and all the members of the household of Professor Odingo.

May his soul rest in peace.

Condolences from the Board of Maasai Mara Science and Development Initiative

  • Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, BIOCHANGE, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Executive Director Irene Amoke, Kenya Wildlife Trust
  • CEO Jesper Stagegaard, Ree Park/Karen Blixen Camp Trust, Denmark/Kenya
  • Mr. David Noosaron, Landowner, Mararianta, Mara North Conservancy

Condolences from members of the MMSDI network

  • Professor, Head of department, Jacob Kjær Eskildsen
  • Professor Henrik Balslev 
  • Professor Børge Obel 
  • Professor Dorthe Døjbak Haakonsson
  • Professor Dorte Haubek
  • Assistant Professor Robert Buitenwerf
  • Associate Professor Anders Barfod
  • Dr. Anne Blach Overgaard
  • Postdoc Susanne Marieke Vogel
  • Associate Professor Mette Løvschal
  • Associate Professor Rikke Langebæk
  • Peder Klith Bøcher, Market Developer, Scalco
  • Line Ochelka, cand.scient
  • Dominic Kuluo, Guide, Karen Blixen Camp
  • Benedict Walubengo, Headmaster, Karen Blixen Camp

Condolences from Karen Blixen Camp Trust, Board of Trustees

  • Dr. Stephen DeVincent, Chairman of Karen Blixen Camp Trust
  • Jesper Stagegaard, CEO Ree Park/chairman of the Board Karen Blixen Camp
  • Rene Eghammer, Director and Board member of Karsten Ree Holding Group
  • Pernille Kallehave, Advisor, Aarhus University
  • Bo Kjellson, Borås Djurpark
  • Ronald Mutie, CEO, Karen Blixen Camp

Special condolences from Pernille Kallehave and family:Anton Gammelgaard, Mads Gammelgaard, Josefine Kallehave.