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Who are we?

We are a multidisciplinary team of scientist from different organisations around the world that have come together for this project. Here is more information about our team, their interests and their involvement with LiveGaps.

Mario Herrero – Chief Research Scientist

Dr Mario Herrero, the project coordinator is one of the global leaders on livestock systems research in the developing world, both previously leading ILRI’s Sustainable Livestock Futures Group and currently as CSIRO’s Chief Research Scientist on Food Systems and the Environment. He has coordinated numerous studies on the future of livestock systems for the CGIAR (Future of Crop-Livestock Systems), The World Bank (African Livestock Futures), DFID and other donors (over 30 projects). He coordinates the livestock model intercomparison activities within the AGMIP project, and he has led the development of the latest livestock productivity datasets for the regions of interest for the BMGF, and globally. He has an extensive publication record (with papers in the major journals like Science, PNAS, etc.) and network of partners and has been guest editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the area of livestock and global change. Contact:

Andrew Ash

Andrew is an agricultural systems scientist with a strong interest in pastoral and ruminant livestock systems and their interaction with climate variability and change. He has been heavily involved in developing household crop-forage-livestock models that capture system variability and dynamic. Andrew has been putting these models to use in the LiveGaps project through exploring a range of interventions to lift productivity and profitability in small ruminants and dairy systems in Ethiopia. Contact:

Ben Henderson

Ben is an agricultural economist at CSIRO with experience in modelling farm and industry level productivity, market interactions, and the impacts of development policies on farmer welfare, food security and sustainability. For LiveGaps Ben works on estimating livestock yield gaps, based on observed variability in farm performance among farm populations, using whole farm productivity measures. Contact:

David Parsons

David Parsons is an agricultural systems scientist with graduate degrees in agronomy and systems modelling. He conducts research in the areas of farming systems, crop-livestock interactions, whole farm modelling and forage agronomy. Amongst other projects, David leads research projects in sustainable beef cattle production in South-East Asia. In the LiveGaps project he works on developing improved options for smallholder poultry production. Contact:

David Phelan

David is an agricultural scientist, based in Hobart (Australia) at the University of Tasmania. Interests and experience incorporate agricultural systems modelling, with a focus on livestock systems modelling, cropping and pastures. David worked on the poultry systems modelling as part of the LiveGaps project, focusing on existing feed gaps for both countries concerning backyard poultry systems and intervention options for poultry systems. This was undertaken in an effort to reduce existing feed gaps within backyard poultry systems and contribute to an increase in sustainable profitability for the backyard producers. Contact:

Di Mayberry

Di is a research scientist at CSIRO with a background in ruminant nutrition and modelling of livestock production systems. Di’s work focuses on improving the productivity and profitability of livestock enterprises in Australia and developing countries, particularly Asia. Within the LiveGaps project, Di has been involved in modelling the baseline production for Indian small ruminant and dairy enterprises and impacts of potential interventions to increase meat and milk production. Contact:

Di Prestwidge

Di is an Agricultural Systems Modeller and Database Analyst with experience in modelling Farming Systems in Africa. Di analysed several databases containing Ethiopian and Indian livestock and household data, then extracted parameters to model dairy and sheep/goat livestock systems in the IAT model . Contact:

Jeannette van de Steeg

Jeannette is an environmental scientist with vast experience in analysing spatial variation in agricultural systems. Having worked for many years in agricultural research in the developing world, Jeannette has a solid understanding of livestock production systems. Jeannette joined the LiveGaps team to lead the outputs of mapping, for example, productivity, income and nutritional contribution of livestock, and perform the additional analyses. She enjoys working on the challenges related to applying the outcomes of global assessment modelling to applications at a regional to local scale. Contact:

Marius Gilbert

Marius is an agricultural scientist, based in Brussels (Belgium) with strong interests and experience on the spatial epidemiology of infectious diseases, and how emerging diseases are influenced by intensification of livestock production systems. Marius worked together with ILRI and FAO on the gridded livestock of the world database, a unique spatial data set describing how livestock is distributed globally, which contributes to the spatial assessments of the LiveGaps project. Contact:

Mark van Wijk

Mark is a systems analyst with an interest in livelihood analyses of smallholder farmers in developing countries. He has worked for more than 15 years on these systems combining empirical data collection and theoretical model analyses on crop and livestock production and their interplay at farm level. These analyses are used to target and prioritize intervention options, and to assess the likely consequences of adoption of these interventions, all of which will also be Mark’s contribution to the LiveGaps project. Contact:

Timothy Robinson

Timothy Robinson is a principal Scientist with the Livestock Systems and Environment (LSE) research theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to moving to ILRI in early 2013 he spent over 10 years with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, working with the Livestock Information, Systems Analysis and Policy Branch (AGAL). His research interests include the application of spatial analytical techniques to understanding and predicting current and future livestock species and production systems distributions – particularly in the context of social, environmental and health risks and opportunities associated with a changing livestock sector. Contact: