Zewdu Eshetu Asfaw

Full name Zewdu Eshetu Asfaw
Academic Rank/Status
  • PhD
  • Associate Professor
Working for AAU since 2010
Administrative positions held if any/ past and present
  • Coordinator, Palaeo-anthropology and Palaeo-environment Program,
  • Director, Climate Science Center,
  • Director, African Center for Disaster Risk Management
Education attended
  • Post Doc climate change, South Africa
  • PhD Forestry, Sweden
  • MSc Forestry, Germany
  • Diploma Agriculture,  Ethiopia
Awards and recognitions
  • 2001 START Pan-African Young Scientist Award
  • 2000 Agnese N. Haury Fellowship Award,
Membership of international bodies
  • Member of Editors, Publications and Research Board of Advisors of the American Biographical Institute (ABI),
  • Affiliated to the tree ring laboratory of University of Wales Swansea, UK; Laboratory of Tree Ring Research in the University of Arizona,
Publicity: journals, editorial roles, initiatives etc Initiating training manuals for GHG, in press since 2015:

  • GHG monitoring and MRV for forestry sector,
  • GHG monitoring and MRV for livestock sector,
  • GHG monitoring and MRV for transport sector,
  • GHG monitoring and MRV for Energy sector,
  • GHG monitoring and MRV for agriculture/soil sector, and
  • Environmental and social impact assessment.

Documenting public expenditures on climate change and good practices supporting green economy strategy:

  • Public spending on climate change in Africa. Experiences from Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. Oversea Development Institute. London.
  • Inclusive Green Growth in Ethiopia: Selected case studies. United  Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Addis Ababa,
  • Low carbon development pathway for the Ethiopian Dairy Sector: Reducing enteric methane while increasing food security and livelihoods, FAO Report 2017.
Research interest /not more than 100 words Environment and Climate change reconstruction, carbon and nitrogen dynamics in soil and plant system, climate finance and carbon trading, forest soils and land use change, disaster risks, loss and damage of climate change impacts in the horn of Africa.
Publications on reputable journals Tommy H. G. Wils,  Iain Robertson, Stephan Woodborne,  Zewdu Eshetu. 2016. Anthropogenic forcing increases the water-use efficiency of African trees .  Journal of Quaternary Science,Binyam Alemu, Efrem Garedew, Zewdu Eshetu, Habtemariam Kassa. 2015. Land Use and Land Cover Changes and Associated Driving Forces in North Western Lowlands of Ethiopia. International Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Soil Science (ISSN: 2251-0044) Vol. 5(1) pp. 28-44,

Binyam Alemu, Zewdu Eshetu, Efrem Garedew and Habtemariam Kassa. 2015. Assessment of vegetation characteristics and production of Boswellia papyrifera woodlands in north western lowlands of Ethiopia. Sky Journal of Agricultural Research Vol. 4(1), pp. 008 – 013,

Kebede Kassa and Zewdu Eshetu. 2014. Situation analysis of rural livelihoods and socioeconomic dynamics for sustainable rural development: The case of Legehida Woreda (District), South Wollo of Ethiopia. Research Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Management. Vol. 3(3), pp. 201-208.

Research Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Management. Vol. 3(3), pp. 201-208, March, 2014


Terwilliger V. J., Z. Eshetu, J. R. Disnar, J. Jacob J, W. P. Adderley, Y. Huang, M. Alexandre, M. L. Fogel. 2013. Environmental changes and the rise and fall of civilizations in the northern Horn of Africa: an approach combining δD analyses of land-plant derived fatty acids with multiple proxies in soil.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 111:140-161.

Daniau A. L.,  P.J. Bartlein, S.P. Harrison, I.C. Prentice, S. Brewer, P. Friedlingstein, T. I. Harrison-Prentice, J. Inoue, K. Izumi, J.R. Marlon, S. Mooney, M.J. Power, J. Stevenson, W. Tinner, M. Andrič, J. Atanassova, H. Behling, M. Black, O. Blarquez, K. J. Brown, C. Carcaillet, E. Colhoun, D. Colombaroli, B. A. S. Davis, D. D’Costa, J. Dodson, L.  Dupont, Z. Eshetu, D. G. Gavin, A. Genries, S. Haberle, D. J. Hallett, S. P. Horn, G. Hope, T. Kassa, F. Katamura, L. Kennedy, P. Kershaw, S. Krivonogov, C. Long, D. Magri, E. Marinova, G. M. McKenzie, P. I. Moreno, P. Moss, F. H. Neumann, E. Norström, C. Paitre, D. Rius, N. Roberts, G. Robinson, N. Sasaki, L. Scott, H. Takahara, V. Terwilliger, F. Thevenon, R. B. Turner, V. G. Valsecchi, B. Vannière, M. Walsh, N. Williams, and Y. Zhang. 2012. Predictability of biomass burning in response to climate changes.  Global Biogeochemical Cycles  26: GB4007, doi:10.1029/2011GB004249.

Terwilliger, V. J., Z. Eshetu, M. Alexandre, Y. Huang, M. Umer,  and T. Gebru.  2011. Local variation in climate and land use during the time of the major kingdoms of the Tigray Plateau of Ethiopia and Eritrea.  Catena 85: 130-143.

Gebru, T., Z. Eshetu, Y. Huang, T. Woldemariam, N. Strong, M. Umer, M. DiBlasi and V. J. Terwilliger.  2009.  Holocene palaeovegetation of the Tigray Plateau in northern Ethiopia from charcoal and stable organic carbon isotopic analyses of gully sediments.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology 282: 67-80.

Terwilliger, V. J., Z. Eshetu, A. Colman, T. Bekele, A. Gezahgne, and M. L. Fogel.  2008. Reconstructing palaeoenvironment from δ13C and δ15N values of soil organic matter: a calibration from arid and wetter elevation transects in Ethiopia. Geoderma 147 :197-210.

Eshetu, Z, Giesler R., and Högberg P. 2004.  Historical land use pattern affects the chemistry of forest soils in the Ethiopian highlands. Geoderma, 149-165.

Eshetu, Z. 2003. Natural 15N abundance in soils under young-growth forests in Ethiopia. Forest Ecology and Management, 139-147.

Eshetu, Z. 2002. Historical C3 and C4 vegetation pattern on forested mountain slopes: Its implication for ecological rehabilitation of degraded highlands of Ethiopia by afforestation. Journal of Tropical Ecology 18: 743-758.

Eshetu, Z. and Högberg, P. 2000. Reconstruction of Forest Site History in  Ethiopian Highlands based on 13C natural abundance of soils. Ambio 29: 83-89.

Eshetu, Z. and Högberg, P. 2000. Effect of Land use on 15N natural abundance of soils in Ethiopian Highlands. Plant and Soil 222: 109-117.

Wils, T.H.G., Robertson, I., Williams, A.P., Koprowski, M. & Z. Eshetu, submitted. Understanding long-term river basin hydrology using isotopes in tree rings. Journal of Hydrology.

Wils, T.H.G., Robertson, I., Woodborne, S., Hall, G., Koprowski, M. & Z. Eshetu, submitted. Anthropogenic forcing increases the water use efficiency of African trees. Geophysical Research Letters.

Wils, T.H.G., Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W., Eshetu, Z., Bräuning, A., Gebrekirstos, A., Couralet, C., Robertson, I., Touchan, R., Koprowski, M., Conway, D., Briffa, K. & H. Beeckman, 2011. Dendrochronology in the dry tropics: the Ethiopian case. Trees – Structure and Function 25, pp. 345-354.

Wils, T.H.G., Robertson, I., Eshetu, Z., Touchan, R., Sass-Klaassen, U. & M. Koprowski, 2011. Crossdating Juniperus procera from North Gondar, Ethiopia. Trees – Structure and Function 25, pp. 71-82.

Wils, T.H.G., Robertson, I., Eshetu, Z., Koprowski, M., Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W., Touchan, R. & N.J. Loader, 2010. Towards a reconstruction of Blue Nile baseflow from Ethiopian tree rings. The Holocene 20, pp. 837-848.

Wils, T.H.G., Robertson, I., Eshetu, Z., Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W. & M. Koprowski, 2009. Periodicity of Juniperus procera growth rings from Ethiopia. Dendrochronologia 27, pp. 45-58.

Wils, T.H.G., Eshetu, Z. & M. Koprowski, 2008. Reconstructing the flow of the River Nile from Juniperus procera tree rings and historical sources: dating the tree rings. Report to the Royal Geographical Society, London, 44 p.

Williams, A.P., Funk, C., Michaelsen, J., Rauscher, S.A., Robertson, I., Wils, T.H.G., Koprowski, M., Eshetu, Z. & N.J. Loader, 2012. Recent summer precipitation trends in the Greater Horn of Africa and the emerging role of Indian Ocean sea surface temperature. Climate Dynamics 39, pp. 2307-2328.

Community services: memberships etc
  • President,  the Board of Climate Change Forum Ethiopia
  • Member of the technical task force for developing National Integrated Land Use Lanning
  • Member of Core Negotiation team for climate change, MEFCC
  • Member of a working team project preparation of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) for Ethiopia.
  • member of the National Steering Committee for the preparation of Ethiopian REDD readiness project,
  • Member of a task force for developing REDD+ reference level and SESA of REDD+ implementation.
  • Member of the National Steering Committee (Technical committee) for preparing project Design Document for Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE).
  • A lead proposal writer of Ethiopian Climate Innovation Center (CIC), funded by World Bank,
  • A lead writer of a proposal  for establishment of Ethiopian Panel of Climate Change (EPCC) and Environmental Certification Institute, and coordinator of  implementing the establishment of Environmental Service Certification Institute, both funded by DFiD.
  • Member of technical advisory Board for fast track project implementation, CRGE facility,
  • Member of Ethiopian Foresters Association
  • Member of Ethiopian Soil Science Society,
  • Member of public consultative forum of Ethiopia on Peace, Development and Democracy
Address Zewdu.eshetu@gmail.com, Phone 0911476384,