Modeling the Effects of Climate Change on Maize Pests and Pathogens and Food Security in East Africa

Richard and Rhoda Goldman Conference Room

Climate change will have direct and indirect impacts on agricultural production and food security throughout the world. The direct effects include the role of temperature and precipitation on photosynthesis and other properties of crop growth and physiology. The indirect effects encompass a range of biotic interactions, such as climate influences on crop pest and pathogen dynamics. The latter are widely discussed but poorly understood for most agricultural systems. The broad purpose of this workshop is to design a structured framework for assessing how climate change is likely to affect agriculture and food security through various pathways that include pest/pathogen dynamics. We will use maize production systems in Kenya as a focus to build this framework, with the expectation that the framework can be applied subsequently to other crops and regions. The main goal of this meeting is to develop an interdisciplinary research proposal to be submitted later this year to NSF or USDA.