I am a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Liverpool, based at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya. I joined the Urban Zoo project, part of the Zoonotic and Emerging Disease group in June 2015. My main role was to coordinate the data collection for the 99 Households component of the project, which is looking at the bacterial diversity within and between 99 households across Nairobi, encompassing different levels of poverty and livestock keeping. This will contribute to the understanding of factors influencing public health risk from emerging zoonotic pathogens in an urbanised environment and the role of livestock keeping and contact with value chains in driving disease emergence. As this project draws to a close, I will continue to work on related projects at ILRI, funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
My first degree was in veterinary science (2004), and after graduation I worked in clinical practice for 5 years, before returning to the University of Liverpool, completing an MSc in veterinary infection and disease control in 2010. My PhD, completed in 2014, was on The epidemiology and ecology of infectious diseases in Ethiopian village chickens and the role of co-infection in infection risk, and was part of a multidisciplinary project studying the disease epidemiology, socio-economic aspects and population genetics of village chickens.During my first postdoctoral position, still within the CH4D (Chicken Health for Development) project, I worked on integrating the different disciplines to produce scientific publications, media and policy briefs for the UK Department of International Development. The project outcomes will be used to inform local development programmes in Ethiopia and other countries where chicken production is being targeted as a way of helping local farmers, especially women and the rural poor, to improve their livelihood and nutritional security.
I am interested in interdisciplinary research for its application of science to real-world problems, and in the methods which combine qualitative and quantitative research to understand agro-ecological systems. I am also interested in how local ecologies, systems and contexts influence the success of scientific and technological solutions, and how these advances perturb the way in which people and animals interact with infectious organisms in their environment.