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Exploring the relationship between rainfall and humans

Especially using satellite rainfall estimates


I study the interaction between humans and rainfall, especially using remote sensing to work in data-sparse environments.

I work especially in sparse data environments, or places where rainfall has the most impact  This is often in sub-Saharan Africa or in other Low-Income tropical countries.

My research ranges from answering core-biophysical questions about the nature of rainfall and its measurement, to social questions about how and why humans use this information. In recent years, this has focused especially on agricultural insurance and disaster response.

A lot of my research centres around applied questions. For example,

  • How do you use satellite rainfall to design improved weather-insurance contracts across Africa.

  • How can you use weather information to better assign humanitarian funds in Somalia.

  • Why do some agricultural insurance programmes scale, while others remain pilots.

  • Or why do women buy agricultural insurance in some countries, but not others.

  • How can satellite rainfall estimates be used to drive downstream models such as crop simulation models or flood models.

  • What is the uncertainty on a satellite rainfall estimate and what impact does that have on decision making.

  • What does it mean to validate a satellite rainfall product, when the “best” product can mean very different things to different end-users.

If you would like to collaborate with me or to hear more about my work, please feel free to get in touch!