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Tilahun Fikadu

Current Student—Ph.D in Urban and Regional Planning

Tilahun Fikadu

Email: tfikadu@umich.edu/ tilahun.mulatu@eiabc.edu.et

Areas of interest: spatial planning, spatial ecology, urban ecology, and biodiversity conservation

Advisor: Larissa Larsen


Tilahun is an urban ecologist with special interest for urban sustainability. He grew up in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. He obtained his first degree in biology in 2007 after completing a three-year bachelor degree program in applied biology at Addis Ababa University. His keen interest for environmental sustainability coupled with the wide-reaching nature of the program gave him the opportunity to focus on ecology as his future career. His excelled interest for environmental sciences enables him to join the most competitive masters program in applied ecology where he discovers the diverse application of ecological principles in remediating environmental problems.

Tilahun left for Poitiers, France in September 2012 to attend his Master’s degree in applied ecology at the University of Poitiers, France. As his Master’s program involved two other universities, he also moved to the University of East Anglia, UK, and the University of Coimbra, Portugal while attending his Master’s degree. He obtained his masters degree in September 2014 and start working under the chair of ecosystem planning and management at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC), Addis Ababa University as a lecturer as of June 2015.

His current research interest focuses on developing multi-functional urban green spaces in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The need of having urban green spaces is strongly questioned in a society where there is poor understanding of nature’s values. Sadly, planning for urban green spaces in SSA often fails to address public usability, accessibility and equity of green spaces while also overlooking the roles these green spaces could play for mitigating urban climate extremities and conserving urban biodiversity. The ultimate objective of his research will be to develop a more comprehensive and multi-criteria based green space planning strategy for improving the multi-functionality of urban green spaces in the region.

University teaching positions:

  • 2009 – 2010 Graduate Assistant at Addis Ababa University
  • 2010 - 2012 Assistant Lecturer at Addis Ababa University
  • 2015 – 2019 Lecturer at EiABC, Addis Ababa University

Courses thought:

Invertebrate zoology, Vertebrate zoology, Introduction to Microscopy, General Ecology , Soil vegetation and protected area conservation, Urban Ecology

Grants, Scholarships and Awards:

  • 2010 -     Young researcher grant (Research Publication Office, Addis Ababa University)
  • 2012 - Scholarship for attending European Masters in Applied Ecology program (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, European Union)
  • 2019 -    PhD fellowship for attending a PhD program in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan (Rackham graduate fellowship, University of Michigan)

Others credentials:

  • 2016 - Trainee for Ethiopian Higher Education training Program (HDP) for higher institution instructors
  • 2017 - Participant for 6th workshop on Green Infrastructure and Urban Biodiversity (GIUB), Kumasi, Ghana


  • Mulatu, T., Bastos, R., Santos, M., Da silva, Sousa, J, Da Silva, P, Cabral, J. (2016). Do the passerine traits’ dynamic patterns indicate the ecological status of agro-forestry ecosystems? A modelling approach for ‘‘Montado’’ management assessments, Global Ecology and conservation 8: 154 – 169.
  • Mulatu T, Getahun A. (2018). Diversity of anurans in forest fragments of southwestern Ethiopia: The case of Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve (YCFBR). Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 12(2) [General Section]: 30–40 (e158).
  • Larissa Larsen, Kumelachew Yeshitela , Tilahun Mulatu , Sisay Seifu , Hayal Desta (2019). The Impact of Rapid Urbanization and Public Housing Development on Urban Form and Density in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Land 8: 66.
  • Bosena Yirga and Tilahun Mulatu (xxx). Uncovering the role of environmentally insensitive land tenure policy for forest degradation: evidence from Ethiopia. (Under review in Journal of Forest Policy and Economics).
  • Senait Nigussie, Tilahun Mulatu, Li Liu, Kumelachew Yeshitela (xxx). Linking land uses/ covers with ecosystem services: Determining the impact of land use/cover change on the supply, demand and budgets of ecosystem services. (Under review in Journal of Urban Ecosystems) 
  • Tilahun Mulatu (xxx). Determinants of urbanization in Ethiopia: Does geography matter?  (Under preparation)
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