The morphing of maize in southern Africa: Intersections of agriculture, livelihoods and markets
Supervisors: Assoc Prof Rachel Wynberg and Dr Jan Engels
I was born in Kenya, but until early 2014 I lived in Italy. Now I am back in South Africa where I spent my childhood and where the love for this beautiful country grew inside of me, up to the point of making me want to return and experience it as an adult. I studied agriculture and natural science in Italy and started working with organic farming (control of pests and diseases, quality assurance and certification systems), carried out some basic research, and also became involved in journalism. I have been working with underutilised species at Bioversity International (the former International Plant Genetic Resource Institute (IPGRI)) since 2000; and in 2008 I joined the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research. I managed the project ‘Climate Change and Indigenous Communities: Strengthening Adaptability, Resilience, and Innovation’ in Bolivia and Sarawak, Malaysia and continue to work in the field of agrobiodiversity and knowledge management. At UCT I conduct research in South Africa and Zambia on the effects of agricultural modernisation on small scale farming communities’ livelihoods, analysing formal and informal knowledge and seed systems. I love people and maybe I like animals even better (!), as well as hiking, kitesurfing, cycling and playing the saxophone.