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Affiliation: 
Wageningen University
Department: 
Plant Production Systems Group, Plant Science Department
Expertise: 
Farm system analysis; whole-farm modelling

Biography

Katrien Descheemaeker is assistant professor in the Plant Production Systems group of the Plant Science Department of Wageningen University (Netherlands). She obtained a PhD in Bioscience Engineering from the KU Leuven (Belgium) on land degradation and rehabilitation issues in the Ethiopian highlands. As a joint postdoc with the International Livestock Research Institute and the International Water Management Institute in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), she worked on developing a framework and methodology for assessing water productivity in smallholder mixed crop-livestock systems. During the 1.5 years as a research scientist at CSIRO in Australia, Dr. Descheemaeker combined agricultural research in Africa with project work in the Australian mixed sheep-cereal farming systems. Katrien has built up research expertise in both fundamental and applied research in agro-ecosystems across different continents. Her research focuses on farming systems analysis, resource use efficiency, natural resources management, soil-plant-animal interactions, and environmental sustainability, with a special interest in the functioning and dynamics of mixed crop-livestock systems. Current research combines experimental trial work with simulation modelling to identify and assess interventions for improved resource use efficiency and farm profitability, and reduced risks associated with climate and market variability. Across various projects on smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. Descheemaeker and colleagues develop effective methods for participatory research with farmers and other stakeholders to increase the potential adoption and impact of technology and management options to increase farm productivity, food security and natural resource integrity.