I joined CABI in November 2017 as Senior Scientist – Invasive Species Management. My work involves supporting the development and implementation of effective invasive species management initiatives, following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach, in collaboration with national, regional and international stakeholders.
Prior to joining CABI, I worked for two years as a Research Scientist and Interim Head for the Plant Health theme at icipe. Here, I provided leadership and research strategy to the theme and maintained a portfolio of research aligned with icipes strategy and goals. I was directly responsible for planning and directing ecological research and development and deployment of IPM approaches and eco-friendly interventions to manage key invasive crop pests afflicting horticultural and cereal crops. My most recent work has been on the invasion of Diaphorina citri into Kenya and Zanzibar and understanding the epidemiology of citrus Huanglongbing.
Previously, I was the Theme Manager for Sustainable Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition at ASARECA, providing intellectual leadership and coordinating multi-country and multi-institutional collaborative agricultural research for development projects on 10 staple crops commodities across the 11 member countries. I have also been a member of several steering and advisory bodies such as the CGIAR Research Programme on Dryland Cereals, IITA AfricaRising, RTB- ENDURE and CIAT-PABRA providing intellectual advice.
CABI has a regional centre for Africa in Nairobi. Agriculture is essential for sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth and yet average crop yields in Africa are among the lowest in the world. Over 80% rely on it but many face challenges in growing sufficient good quality produce.
The global cost of invasive species is estimated at US$1.4 trillion per year – close to 5% of global gross domestic product. Invasives disproportionately affect vulnerable communities in poor rural areas, especially in developing countries which depend on natural resources, healthy ecosystems, trade and tourism for their livelihoods.