Vice Chancellor

Prof. Linus Muthuri Gitonga, (PhD MSc BEd Sc. Hons)


Prof. Linus Muthuri Gitonga (PhD MSc BEd Sc. Hons) is a Professor of Entomology, in the Department of Biological Sciences, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Karatina University. He specializes in biological control and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Prof. Gitonga grew up at Rugomo village, where, while still a boy, his dream was to become a Professor, simply because, “a Professor has read everything there is and there’s nothing more to read”. Prof. Gitonga has a Doctor of philosophy (Zoology: Entomology) from ICIPE/Department of Zoology Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) (1996 to 2000). His thesis is titled: “Bioecology of thrips in French bean growing agro-ecosystems”. Major areas covered in the thesis are: Thrips species identification, population dynamics; and indigenous biocontrol agents namely Anthocorid bugs (predator) and Ceranisus (parasitoid).

He also has a Master of Science (Zoology) from Department of Zoology, Kenyatta University (1990 to 1991) under a scholarship from Kenyatta University. The Master thesis title was“Effects of dexamethasone on the antibody response and anemia in Sprague Dawley rats infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei.” He got a B Ed (Sc.) Second Class (Hons.) Upper Division (1986 to 1989) from Kenyatta University. His specialization was Zoology major and Botany minor. Prof. Gitonga also has Certificate in Higher Education Management (Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) Israel (2014); Certificate in Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Audit, Lead Auditor ( JKUAT) (2010); and Haggai Institute, Hawai USA 17th February to 12th March 2004 Leadership training (2004). Prof. Gitonga has been a Professor of Entomology ( January 2018 to date, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Karatina University; an Associate Professor of Entomology (from April 2007 to January 2018, Department of Zoology, JKUAT 2007 to January 2018); a Senior Lecturer (September 2002 to April 2007, Department of Zoology, JKUAT); a Lecturer (1996 to 2002, Department of Zoology, JKUAT); Assistant Lecturer (1994 May – 1996, Biological sciences department, JKUAT); and a Part time lecturer in Environmental Science, Department of Education, Day Star University (1995: August to December), among others.

Prof. Gitonga is the Vice Chancellor of Karatina University. He also served the institution as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Planning Finance and Administration) (from 8th August 2013 to 2023: Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (PFA), Karatina University (1st March 2013 to 7th August 2013); Ag. Vice Chancellor, Karatina University (various dates). Prof. Gitonga was Deputy Principal (PFA) (15th August 2011 to 28th February 2013), at Karatina University College; and Ag. Principal at Karatina University College (various dates).

He served as Director, Academic Programs, Meru University College of Science and Technology (MUCST) (then a constituent College of JKUAT) (September 2009 to August 2010); Pioneering Director Academic Programs, Taita Taveta Campus JKUAT – co-ordinating all academic programs in the campus (March 2008 to September 13th 2009) Pioneering Director, JKUAT Information Technology Centre (IT Centre) (2002 to 2005); and Administrative and academic head for two terms (four years).

Outside of his leadership at University, Prof. Gitonga was a Member of KENIA Board and Chair of Finance and HR and Technical Committees.

Prof. Gitonga is a former GTZ scholar, having studied at the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Nairobi Kenya. Prof. Gitonga has 29 years of applied professional expertise in research, teaching and administration at the University level. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and has attended and presented papers in national and international conferences and workshops. He has supervised and examined PhD students and MSc students to completion; and several undergraduate research projects, jointly with other supervisors. Prof. Gitonga has been a reviewer with various the Journal in his area of expertise.

In his academic and managerial leadership, Prof. Gitonga is an organized supervisor, mentor and coach who is able to effectively assess, analyze needs and provide tools to solve problems, enhance learning and improve performance. In addition, he is skilled in team building and forging relationships with individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and nationalities. Prof. Gitonga is an effective communicator. He has excellent skills in planning, organizing, budgeting, coordinating and supervising; curriculum development and review; project development, management, monitoring and evaluation; and quality control. He has a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach to problem solving.

Prof. Gitonga is ranked in AD Scientific Index rankings; Kenya Scientist and University Rankings; AD Scientific Index rankings; and Kenya Scientist and University Rankings. Prof. Gitonga is a member of Entomological Society of America (ESA) and Association of African Insect Scientists (AAIS).

He has done collaborative projects in various areas including ICIPE, KARI, Philips University Germany, KEMRI, Sun Agro biosystem ltd of India, JKUAT, ITROMID, University of Nairobi, and Egerton University. RU-FORUM, Faculty of Agriculture JKUAT by developing MSc curriculum for Research Methodology.

Prof. Gitonga’s community service involvement include identification of agricultural pests, Beneficial insects and their management (SACDEP); Community Capacity Building Initiative: Resource person/consultant; ICIPE: Training of farmer groups and training materials development/consultancy; Motivation speaking engagements; Schools and church groups; and Panelist: DAAD Pre-Selection Board for PhD Scholars. Prof. Gitonga has attracted several funds from among others GTZ, JKUAT, BECANET, DAAD, Prince Foundation (Haggai Institute) and NRF.

Contact Information

Karatina University

P.O. BOX 1957—10101, Karatina, Kenya.

Tel: (+254) 20 2176 713

Mob: (+254)729 721 200


Mon – Fri 8:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.

Social Info