Borlaug Fellow returns to Iowa State University

Esther Nampeera returned to Iowa State University to further her research on horticultural plant growth and development as part of her Ph.D. program.  Esther was hosted by the Global Programs Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and mentored by Gail Nonnecke, Professor in Horticulture. Esther’s first visit to Iowa State University was in September 2014, when she was a recipient of the Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (Borlaug LEAP); during her first visit she worked with Gail Nonnecke to plan her research projects and methods.

Esther is currently pursuing her Ph.D. degree in Plant Health Sciences and Management from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. During her time at Iowa State University, Esther worked on finalizing her literature reviews, data analyses, and writing her manuscripts from her research findings. She also had the chance to present recent research results at the Entomological Society of America’s annual conference in Denver.  Her conference report summarized the growth and development of the green peach aphid on various selections of leafy amaranth, a vegetable commonly consumed in East Africa.   

Aside from being a Borlaug LEAP Fellow recipient, Esther also has received many additional awards and accomplishments through the years, including being selected by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to participate in the 2015 Next Generation Delegation to the Global Food Security Symposium in Washington, D.C. During her time at the symposium, she discussed how agriculture can be used to improve food security for farmers and their families in Africa, which is a very personal initiative for Esther through her studies and research. Esther has also received the “African Women in Agricultural Research and Development” Award, “Schlumberger Foundation Faculty For The Future” Award and has been invited by the Israel and Brazilian Governments and the University of Sydney, Australia to travel and share her knowledge on agricultural growth and development from her experiences in East Africa.

Esther returned to her home country of Uganda on November 30th, where she will finalize changes to her manuscript. Esther’s long-term goal is to see community development and improvements in agriculture in Uganda. She hopes to help organize farmers into groups and educate them about the technologies that can help increase their food production and grow their income. Esther has enjoyed her numerous visits to Iowa State University and appreciates all of the support provided by Dr. Gail Nonnecke, Dr. Sue Blodgett, Professor in Entomology, and many other staff and students at Iowa State University who have assisted her and made her feel welcomed.