Research and expertise

As a Doctoral Researcher, my interests lie in the resource recovery and reuse (RRR) from human and organic wastes in agriculture as a vector of resilience and food security for smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries.

I am particularly interested in the drivers and barriers surrounding the sustainable implementation of safe RRR schemes at scale (e.g. behaviour change, multi-level governance)

Recently completed research projects

  • 2020: Can water and nutrient recovery increase food security in poor urban areas of Vitoria and Florianopolis, Brazil? Modelling the flows of greywater, roof rainwater harvesting, source-separated urine to irrigate and fertilize community gardens, using System Dynamics. Master of Sciences internship.
  • 2019/2020: Evaluation of varying density of mulch on a crop of grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolour (L.) Moench) with its harvest residue to improve the soil water balance and secure a harvest and improve food security in South African rainfed smallholder agriculture, using AquaCrop. Master of Sciences project.
  • 2019: Integrating Remote Sensing to provide agro-meteorological trends and feed a local-scale Early Warning System. A case study the uMngeni Resilience Project: Upscaling from ward to district level. Master of Sciences internship.

Profile

After initial training in forestry, I worked in various positions giving me insight into a wide range of water-related issues. Thus, I spent almost 20 years in France and abroad, accompanying farmers to re-implement hedges to reduce soil erosion and develop sustainable fertilization to reduce nitrate's impact on water resources, implementing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects, and managing decentralized wastewater treatment systems. These experiences contributed to my developing an interest in the continuum water is drawing between people and their environment and, more particularly, in the rationale of water and nutrient recycling.

I then completed an MSc in Water & Agriculture (AgroParisTech Montpellier, France). This curriculum helped to formalize my previous experiences. It also allowed me to work with researchers in South Africa and Brazil during internships focusing on resilience and food security of vulnerable communities, using early warning systems, modeling tools, and remote sensing products.

This background led me to undertake this doctoral research focusing on the recovery and reuse of resources (water and nutrients – RRR) from waste in smallholder farming. The irrigation of food crops with more or less treated wastewater is widely practised around the world. It strengthens smallholder farmers' resilience, improves food and water security among vulnerable communities, and promote their access to sanitation. It also contributes to increasing the soil organic carbon content, regenerating soil fertility, and mitigating climate change. It also faces several challenges, including health risks. I am interested in investigating the barriers and drivers marking out a trajectory toward safe and sustainable RRR schemes at scale, particularly those related to behaviour change and multi-level governance.