Success Story

DFAS Senior Lecturer Receives Distinguished Lecturer Award

The Director of the Centre for Coastal Management (CCM) and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Dr. Denis W. Aheto has received the University of Cape Coast award of honour as Distinguished Lecturer at the university's reward and recognition ceremony held on Tuesday, 27th September, 2016. The award which was presented by the incoming Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah has recognized his meritorious efforts, dexterity and hardwork at the University of Cape Coast. Congratulations.

Personality profile

Dr. Denis Worlanyo Aheto has a broad academic training and international exposure. He has participated in interdisciplinary researches in his home country, Ghana and elsewhere notably Sweden, Thailand, Namibia, Zambia, and South Africa and presented papers at meetings or conferences in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Japan and Germany and has attended professional training programs in the United States of America. He holds a PhD Degree in Environmental Sciences (2008) from the University of Bremen (Germany) and two Masters Degrees in Rural Development Studies (2002) and Tropical Aquatic Ecology (2004) obtained from the Swedish Agricultural University (Sweden) and University of Bremen (Germany) respectively. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences and a Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Coast (1998). He was a Teaching and Research Assistant following his graduation in 1998/99.

During his PhD studies, he worked as intern at United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland working in the Hydrology and Water Resources Department under a German Government Fellowship Programme (Carlo Smidt) in 2007. He joined UCC as lecturer in 2009 following his graduation from PhD studies in 2008, and worked as the Examinations Officer and Seminar Coordinator of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (2010-2012), Head of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (DFAS) for four years (2012-2016) and was instrumental in the establishment of the Centre for Coastal Management (CCM) in UCC that was approved in 2013 by UCC’s Academic Board and presently the Director of the Centre. He teaches eight (8) courses at UCC with the changing academic semesters and supervises seven (7) PhD students, four (4) of whom he serves as main supervisor and three (3) as co-supervisor. He has supervised and graduated four (4) MPhil students as main supervisor and over fifty (50) undergraduate students.

Dr. Aheto is sought after in the academic and consultancy fields due to his professionalism that have been significantly demonstrated in works he has been involved in. He is consultant helping to address the problem of Illegal Fishing (IUU) through Education and Sensitization for Sustainable Fisheries Management with funding from the BUSAC Fund: DANIDA, EU & USAID Initiative. He was Co-Principal Investigator on the Project “Fishing for Security in the Gulf of Guinea Project: Fisheries as an opportunity or threat” working with the Australian National Center for Ocean Resources & Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong funded by Australian Aid. He contributes as external examiner (MPhil and PhD thesis) at Department of Fisheries and Watershed Management of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. In 2014, he was Chairman of the accreditation panel appointed by the National Accreditation Board (NAB) to review academic curricula of sister Department at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR).

Along his other lines of duty at University of Cape Coast, Dr. Aheto contributes to the work of some university-wide Boards and Committees:

  • He was a member of the Search Committee for the New Vice-Chancellor for the University of Cape Coast (Dec. 2015- July, 2016)
  • Chairman of UCC’s Library Board (2013 Feb. – Date)
  • Hall Tutor, Casely Hayford Hall (2010 Aug. – Jul., 2012)
  • Member, Academic Board (Aug. 2012-Date), Rep., College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences (2015-Date)
  • Member of Income Generation Committee (2012 Oct. – 2013 Feb)
  • Member of Adhoc Committee to develop Research Agenda for UCC (2012 Oct. – 2013 Feb)
  • Member, Committee for Internationalization Strategy (2014)
  • Involved in the development of a number of strategic plans for i.e.:
    • Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences Strategic Plan (2012-2015)
    • Strategic Plan for the Centre for Coastal Management (2012-2017) &
    • Casely Hayford Hall (2012-2017).

He is Project Manager and UCC’s authorized representative of a five-year fisheries and coastal management capacity development project (2014-2019) worth US$ 5.5 million funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Feed the Future Initiative of the American Government. This project is providing full scholarships to train 10 PhD students with a strong training component at the University of Rhode Island (USA), 20 MPhil students and support in the form of final year project grants for 150 undergraduate students. The project also provides a considerably broad range of training opportunities for academic and technical staff in the United States of America, Australia and elsewhere. The project has upgraded library facilities, refurbished offices, established a Fisheries and Coastal Research laboratory worth over half a million dollars and coordinating a broad range of national level activities in this context, and assisting to operationalize the Centre for Coastal Management (CCM).

He is also Coordinator of an innovative public-private partnership project that is collaborating with Ainoo-Ansah farms, a private aquaculture company in Ghana to establish an Aquaculture Training Centre of Excellence funded by the Government of Ghana, DANIDA and the World Bank through the Skills Development Fund of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education & Training (COTVET). Dr. Aheto is recipient of a number of international academic awards worth over US$ 90,000 including the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Overall Best Student Prize for Academic Merits and Social Engagement at the University of Bremen in 2007.

He has authored a book, book chapters and over 30 scientific articles and technical reports. In November 2014, he received nomination as member of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) National Committee under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana.