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Newton Fund Grant awarded for project consortium

Posted on 10/05/2016

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A Newton Fund Grant has been awarded to Martin Wooster and team for a study on ‘integrating advanced earth observation and environmental information for sustainable management of crop pests and diseases.’

The project consortium is comprised of CABI (UK Lead), Assimila LTD, Kings College London and Rothamsted Research. The Chinese partners are: Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences (RADI-CAS) (Chinese lead), Institute of Plant Protection Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhejiang University, National Agro-Tech Extension and Service Center (NATESC). The project is 3 years duration, £1.25M FEC total funding for UK partners, and King's component (PI Wooster) is around £148k. The project is focused around reducing the use of pesticides in China through providing decision making support tools to end users. Tools will be built through integrating Earth Observation data from various sources and inputting into models to predict pest/disease outbreaks and intervention efficacy.

The project will test model outputs against two candidate systems: locust outbreaks and their corresponding control efficacy, and a fungal disease of wheat. The work conducted at KCL will build on a small but very successful EO based study conducted by King's postdoctoral Researcher Dr Weidong Xu that was developed during a fore-runner pilot project. Weidong Xu, Bruce Main and Jianging He will all be involved in the new work, and were essential to gaining the award.

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