PhD and Masters Degree in Plant Protection, Agricultural Engineer
I am trained as an Agricultural Engineer with a Masters and PhD in Plant Protection from UNESP-FCA. I am a specialist in sustainable production, working on International Development projects related to biopesticides (entomopathogenic viruses and bacteria), climate-smart agriculture and biological control of arthropods and plant diseases, using participatory approaches to agricultural extension and research. I am heavily involved in plant protection techniques, Integrated Pest Management and Integrated Disease Management approaches, with experience of implementing these techniques, and those of sustainable agricultural practices, on cotton, corn, potato, coffee, tropical fruits and vegetable production. I also work closely with farmers and use participatory approaches to learning to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to grow better crops sustainably.
I started working at CABI in 2005, based in CABI Switzerland as a Project Scientist, subsequently in 2007 at the CABI centre in Trinidad and Tobago, as Coordinator, Sustainable Crop and Pest Management. Currently, I am the Centre Director at CABI’s centre in Brazil and Regional Coordinator for the Plantwise Programme, Latin America and the Caribbean.
I am responsible for the supervision and implementation of international cooperation projects and global programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean, working closely with scientists from different institutions and organizations across the region to do so. I am also responsible for Member Country relations and business development in Latin America.
Through my work, I contribute to the development of goals, objectives, and a business plan to promote the overall achievement of CABI’s mission within the region.
I was the Vice-President (2010-2014) and President (2014-2018) of the IOBC-NTRS and currently, I am part of the IOBC-NTRS Steering Committee as the past President and Advisor (2018-2022).
The coffee berry borer (CBB) is the most serious coffee pest, worldwide, causing crop damage in excess of $US500 million, annually. In Colombia, 75% of coffee crops are affected by this pest, where it directly damages coffee beans, destroying the taste and making the beans unsaleable. Furthermore, climate change is enabling the wider spread of CBB, especially at higher altitudes. To overcome losses, the trend amongst farmers is to intensify their activities and expand growing areas. CABI and partners are producing an alert system that uses climatic data and remote sensing technology to give farmers advance warnings of CBB surges, allowing them time to access and apply controls. Biopesticides will be profiled by CABI and relayed into the alert system to further advance the farmers’ abilities to select the right product, at the right time. Women farmers are also integral to the project and to on-farm decision-making but a lack of access to information reduces their participation. This project will focus on overcoming gender disparities in coffee farming.