Bio

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Position: Lecturer
Institution: University of Nairobi,
Plant Science and Crop Protection Department
Country: Kenya
PhD: Crop Protection/ Virus diagnostics and vector dynamics in passion fruit orchards. University of Nairobi, 2012
Research areas: Plant pest diagnostics, insect vector relationships, management of plant pests; Mentoring and Role modeling; Evaluation of plant protection products for efficacy and the efficacy data generated. Other areas of interest include research in insect pathology and locally available botanicals for pest management, adapting known appropriate techniques and conducting dry land farming research in the ASAL areas to improve resilience and livelihoods of the resource poor located in these areas.
My goal is to become a ‘scientist well routed in pest diagnostics and pest management’ to help overcome biotic stresses and reduce losses incurred in crop production. I am an alumnus of the University of Nairobi trained from undergraduate to PhD level in the same institution. My PhD work ‘characterized at molecular level the major virus (CABMV) causing woodiness disease of passion fruit in Kenya and also looked at the aphid vector dynamics in passion fruit orchards with a view to reduce the impact of woodiness disease in passion fruit production’.
The results obtained helped me and collaborating institutions get funds to look into the mechanisms of producing clean passion fruit planting materials through mass production using tissue culture technology and developing virus diagnostics based on PCR and LAMP that would help index and produce quality passion fruit planting materials. Developing tissue culture protocols for mass production was sponsored by the Nation Council of Science and Technology an organization of the Kenya government, while virus diagnostics were funded by Swedish Agriculture Funds through the BecA Hub ILRI (www.hub.africabiosciences.org) as a collaborator. The outputs will go a long way in taming woodiness disease that is interfering with passion fruit production in Kenya and in the East African Region as whole.
Apart from passion fruit research, I teach agriculture entomology and Crop pest management to the undergraduate and post graduate students. In addition I mentor my students to work diligently and obtain quality outputs that would make them stand out of the crowd and be recognized and as an AWARD alumnus (2008), I am working at influencing (mentoring) as many women students as possible to build and anchor their careers in agriculture so that together we can fight food insecurity not only in Kenya but in Africa. Hopefully this will help reduce the leakage in the pipe between enrolling and the numbers we have on the ground attending to agriculture research and dissemination of the information.

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