I was born in a small country called Guyana, formally British Guiana, located on the northern coast of South America. My training in agriculture began at secondary school where I took the General Certificate of Education (GCE) examination in Agriculture Science, among other subjects.
After high school, I went on to complete a diploma in agriculture at the Guyana School of Agriculture where I had my first plant pathology experience. In 1992, I left Guyana to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy at the Universidade Federal de Vicosa in southeastern Brazil. During the third year of my B.S. degree program, I earned an undergraduate research assistantship to work on early blight of tomatoes under the guidance of Dr. Francisco Xavier Ribeiro do Vale.
After completing my B.S. degree in 1997, I continued in Dr. Vale's laboratory working on disease warning system for early blight of tomatoes, obtaining a Master of Science degree in plant pathology in 1999. My interest in plant disease epidemiology and disease forecasting led me to Iowa State University in the fall of 1999, where I was fortunate to receive a graduate research assistantship to work on developing disease prediction and risk assessment models for gray leaf spot of maize under the guidance of Dr. Gary Munkvold.
After earning my Ph.D. in the summer of 2003, I accepted a postdoctoral researcher position at The Ohio State University/Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Lipps and Dr. Larry Madden. Here at OSU/OARDC, I am working on the epidemiology of Fusarium head blight of wheat as part of a multi-state cooperative project funded by the U. S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative. I am specifically responsible for studying rain splash dispersal on inoculum of Fusarium graminearum, causal agent of Fusarium head blight, and the effects of the environment and inoculum of the development of the disease.