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WA scientist wins TED senior fellowship

AAP logoAAP 11/01/2017 Rebecca Gredley

WA scientist Laura Boykin's work to increase food security in east Africa has resulted in her being named as the first Australian-based senior TED fellow.

Dr Boykin from the University of Western Australia's school of chemistry and biochemistry is one of 10 people selected worldwide, and was chosen for her work to save cassave, a food staple that feeds 500 million people in east Africa.

Smallholder farmers rely on cassava for their daily intake but crops are dying from pests and disease.

The Technology Entertainment and Design senior fellowship will enable Dr Boykin to raise awareness of food security issues in sub-Saharan Africa and highlight how genomics and supercomputing are aiding research solutions for smallholder farmers.

Dr Boykin says she is looking forward to raising awareness for the smallholder farmers in East Africa, who she described as the poorest people in the world.

She aims to equip African scientists with computing skills to tackle the virus caused by the cassava whitefly and prevent future outbreaks.

TED is a non-profit organisation that began in 1984, known for TED talks that are devoted to spreading ideas.

The senior fellowship is a two-year program in which Dr Boykin will participate in four pre-conferences, TED events, and deliver a TED talk.

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