I joined CABI in November 2021 as a Technical Lead on the Global Burden of Crop Loss initiative which brings together data, partners and ideas to provide a detailed account of how many crops we lose to what factors in different parts of the globe.
I have experience working on highly collaborative projects tackling crop pest problems in the USA, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, modelling spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of host plants, monitoring the spread of pathogens, advising surveillance strategies, working with qualitative farmer survey data, modelling pest climatic niche and pest population dynamics.
I completed an MSc and a PhD in Geography at the University of Florida, working on estimating climatic shocks to rice production in Thailand (MSc) and interdisciplinary spatio-temporal factors affecting introduction pathways for medfly into Florida and California (PhD). I spent five years as a postdoc at Rothamsted Research and three years as a postdoc at the Plant Sciences department, University of Cambridge working in epidemiological modelling groups on monitoring and surveillance of cassava pathogens in sub-Saharan Africa.
Efforts to reach Sustainable Development Goals in food security, nutrition and livelihoods are being hindered by crop loss. Up 40% of crop yields are lost to pests and disease but the data available to prove and show trends is limited. The Global Burden of Crop Loss project will collect, validate, analyse and disseminate data on the extent and causes of crop loss with the aim of gathering sufficient and reliable data that can act as evidence to enable prioritisation of research and policy in plant health, to improve our ability to predict the impact of emerging diseases.