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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.
Click here see some of my grants & projects, or click here for my publications.

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. I work especially in sparse data environments or in places where rainfall has the most impact on livelihoods, often alongside NGOs or businesses.  In recent years, this has focused especially on agricultural insurance and humanitarian response, especially across sub-Saharan Africa and Latin American countries.

Some of the research questions I try to answer include:

  • How do you use satellite rainfall to reduce basis risk replanting guarantee insurance for millions across southern African countries?

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

  • What is needed for an effective flash flood decision support tool for Early Warning Early Action?

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

  • Or why do women buy agricultural insurance in some countries & programmes, but not in 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?

  • How can the Ghanaian Met service utilise their new 600 station rain-gauge dataset for end-user needs?

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