Zinabu Gebremariam (Professor)

Zinabu Gebremariam is a Professor of Freshwater Ecology at Hawassa University.  He received B.Sc. in Biology (1978) and M.Sc. in Zoology (1982) from Addis Ababa University, and a PhD in Biology (1988) from the University of Waterloo, Canada.    

He has served at various academic leadership positions for more than two decades.  He was a Department Head (for 2 years), the Assistant Dean (for 3 years) and Dean (for 5 years) of Awassa College of Agriculture. Founding President of Hawassa University (for 8 years), and Director General of the Ethiopian Higher Education Strategy Center (for 5 years) - in addition to a number of interim positions at institutional and national levels.

Prof. Zinabu has extensively published research papers and book chapters in the areas of long-term changes in the Limnology of the Ethiopian rift-valley lakes with emphasis on water quality changes due to human activity.  He has also studied impacts of pollutants on aquatic ecosystems with emphasis on heavy metals in some Ethiopian water bodies. His current research interests focus on: impacts of effluents from factories on aquatic ecosystems, toxic substances in water bodies, climate change and its impacts on lakes, etc. He has supervised a number of PhD students, and has served as internal and external examiner to many graduate students.

His honors and awards include:  The Ethiopian Science and Technology National Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Higher Education Teaching and Research (2008); The University of Waterloo (UW - Canada) Faculty of Science Alumni of Honor Awards (2007); the GRIGORE ANTIPA Award from the Rumanian Academy – Bucharest; King Baudouin Award from the International Foundation for Science (IFS) - Stockholm; and about six awards and recognitions as a PhD student.

Fellowships and grants awarded to him include research fellowships at: Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), Norway; University of Uppsala, Sweden; University of Florida, Gainesville (USA) – Fulbright Fellow; and Stroud Water Research Center of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, USA.

Prof. Zinabu was founding member of the steering committee of African NESS (African Network for Earth System Science), member of the International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology (SIL) and Freshwater Biological Association – FBA.  He is currently founding member of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (EAS), member of the Biological Society of Ethiopia (BSE), and member of the Ethiopian Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Association (EFASA).

Zinabu Gebremariam has been involved in the design, implementation, and follow-up of a number of collaborative projects with many international and national institutions. He has been involved, in different capacities, in various training workshops on Higher Education, Curriculum Development, Strategic Planning, Project Planning and Administration, Leadership and Management, Civil Service Reform, etc.


Papers published in scientific journals as research articles

  1. Zinabu Gebre-Mariamand Taylor, W.D. (1989). Seasonality and spatial variation in abundance biomass and activity of heterotrophic bacterioplankton in relation to some biotic and abiotic variables in an Ethiopian rift-valley lake (Awassa). Freshwater Biology, 22: 355-368.
  2. Zinabu Gebre-Mariamand Elias Dadebo (1989). Water resources and Fisheries management in the Ethiopian rift-valley lake. SINETAn Ethiopian Journal of Science, 12 (2): 95-109.
  3. Zinabu Gebre-Mariamand Taylor, W.D. (1990). Heterotrophic bacterial production and mortality rates in an Ethiopian rift-valley lake (Awassa). Freshwater Biology, 22: 369-381.
  4. Elizabeth, K., Getachew, T., Taylor, W. D. and Zinabu Gebre-Mariam. (1992). Eutrophication of Lake Hayq in the Ethiopian Highlands. Journal of Plankton Research, 14(10): 1473-1482.
  5. Elizabeth, KZinabu Gebre-Mariam & Ahlgren, I (1994). The Ethiopian Rift-Valley Lakes: Chemical Characteristics of a salinity-alkalinity series. Hydrobiologia,   288: 1-12.
  6. Zinabu, G.M. (1994).Long term changes in indices of chemical and productive status of a group of tropical Ethiopian lakes with differing exposure to human influence.        Hydrobiol., 13 (1): 115-125.
  7. Zinabu G.M. and Taylor W.D. (1997). Bacteria-chlorophyll relationships in Ethiopian lakes of varying salinity: are soda lakes different? Journal of Plankton Research 19(5): 647 – 654.
  8. Zinabu, G. -M., Chapman, L.J. and Chapman, C.A. (2002). Conductivity as a predictor of total cations and salinity in Ethiopian lakes and rivers: Revisiting earlier models. Limnologica,   32: 21 – 26.
  9. Zinabu, G. -Mand Zerihun, D (2002). The Chemical Composition of the Effluent from Awassa Textile Factory and its effects on Aquatic Biota. SINET: An Ethiop. J SCI.,   17(2): 107-123.
  10. Zinabu, G. -M, Kebede, E and Zerihun, D (2002). Long-term changes in the Chemical and Biological Features of Seven Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes. Hydrobiologia, 477: 81 – 91.
  11. Zinabu, G. -M (2002).The Effects of Wet and Dry Seasons on Concentrations of Solutes and Phytoplankton Biomass in Seven Ethiopian Rift-Valley Lakes. Limnologica,  32: 169 – 179.
  12. Zinabu, -M. (2003). The water chemistry of the Ethiopian rift - valley lakes and their influent rivers:       Assessment of suitability for irrigation. Ethiopian Journal of Natural Resources, 5(1): 125 - 142.
  13. Zinabu, G. -Mand Pearce, N (2003). Concentrations of Heavy Metals and Related Trace Elements in some Ethiopia Rift-valley Lakes and their Inflows. Hydrobiologia, 429171 – 178.
  14. Zinabu,M., Ahlgren, I. and Pearce, N. (2004). Toxic Metals and Related Trace Elements in some Ethiopia hot springs.Ethiopian Journal of Biological Sciences, 3(1): 69 – 80.
  15. Desta, Z., Borgstrom, R., Rosseland, B.O., Gebremariam, Z.(2006). Major difference in mercury concentrations of the African big barb, Barbus intermedius (R) due to shifts in trophic position. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 15: 532 – 543.
  16. Desta, Z., Borgstrøm, R., Gebremariam, Z., and Rosseland, B.O. (2008). Habitat use and trophic position determine mercury concentration in the straight fin barb Barbus paludinosus, a small fish species in Lake Awassa, Ethiopia.       Journal of Fish Biology, 73, 477 – 498.
  17. Masresha AESkipperud LRosseland BOZinabu GMMeland STeien HCSalbu B. (2011). Speciation of selected trace elements in three Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes (Koka, Ziway, and Awassa) and their major inflows. Science of the Total Environment,409(19):3955-70
  18. Deribe, E., Rosseland, B.O., Borgstrøm, R., Salbu, B., Gebremariam, Z.,Dadebo, E., Norli, H.R., Eklo, O.M. (2011). Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in fish species from Lake Koka, Ethiopia: The influence of lipid content and trophic position. Science of the Total Environment 2011; 410–411: 136-145.
  19. Deribe, E., Rosseland, B.O., Borgstrøm, R., Salbu, B., Zinabu Gebremariam, Dadebo, E., Skipperud, L., Eklo, O.M. Biomagnification of DDT and its metabolites in four fish species of a tropical lake. Journal of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 95 (2013) 10–18.
  20. Deribe, E., Alemayehu, E.M., Gade, P.A, Siri, B., Rosseland, B.O., Borgstrøm, R., Dadebo, E., Eklo, Zinabu, Gebremaraim, O.M., Skipperud, L., Salbu, B., Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Fish Species from the Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes. International Journal of Environmental Protection, 2014, 4 (1): 15-22.
  21. Deribe, E., Rosseland, B.O., Borgstrøm, R., Salbu, B., Zinabu Gebremariam., Dadebo, E., Skipperud, L., Eklo, O.M. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyles in fish from Lake Awassa in the Ethiopian Rift-Valley: Human Health Risks. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology: 2014, 93: 238 - 244.


Book chapters

  1. Tudurancea, C. ZinabuM. & Elias D. (1999). Limnology in Ethiopia. A Book Chapter In: Wetzel, R.G and Gopal, B (editors). Limnology in Developing Countries, Vol.       2,   63 – 118, International Association for Limnology (SIL).
  2. Taylor,D., Elizabeth Kebede-Westhead and Zinabu G. M. (2002).       Primary and Secondary production in the Pelagic Zone of Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes. In: Tudorancea, C. and Taylor, W. D. (eds.) - Ethiopian rift valley lakes. Backhuys publishers, Leiden.
  3. Zinabu, G.-M(2002). The Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes: Major Threats and Strategies for Conservation: In: Tudorancea, C. and Taylor, W. D. (eds.) - Ethiopian rift valley lakes. Backhuys publishers, Leiden.
  4. Zinabu G.-M (2003). Human Interactions and Water Quality in the Horn of Africa. In: T.L. Crisman, L.J. Chapman, C.A. Chapman, and L.S. Kaufman (editors). Aquatic Conservation and Management in Africa. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Zinabu Gebremariam Woldesenbet, Professor of Freshwater Ecology

Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Sciences

Hawassa University; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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