The Community Network for African Vector-Borne Plant Viruses (CONNECTED) is a vector-borne disease network based at, and led from, the University of Bristol, UK.

We build multidisciplinary research capacity to tackle crop diseases spread by insects.

Creating a global knowledge network

WE CONNECT…  a multidisciplinary network of 1,500+ members in 82 countries.
WE LINK… plant pathology and entomology
WE GROW… technical expertise and knowledge, and increase international collaborations

Building the next generation of plant health researchers  

  • We have trained 100+ early career researchers based in 18 countries, who then trained hundreds more
  • We pump-prime funded 20 projects on 11 different crops, making brand new connections between institutions in the global north and south

We create resilience against climate change

  • Creating multi-disciplinary collaborations with researchers in areas of climate modelling, food security, nutrition and human health
  • We offer opportunities to work with the communities and researchers directly affected by various aspects of climate change
  • More research leads to better tools to tackle insect-borne viruses, strengthening farmers’ ability to combat crop diseases and putting them a step ahead

Watch this short animation to find out what we do and the impact we have had so far.

How the network operates

The Network is managed by an Executive Group working with a Management Board.

CONNECTED is guided by a Management Board of international experts in crop and agricultural research, plant health regulations, innovation and impact.

The Executive Group is made up of Network Director Professor Gary Foster (University of Bristol), Network Co-Director Professor Neil Boonham (Newcastle University and Fera Science Ltd) and Network Managers Dr Diane Hird and Dr Nina Ockendon-Powell (University of Bristol).

Funding

CONNECTED is supported by grant funding and donations from a variety of sources. The core network is currently funded by the Bristol Centre for Agricultural Innovation (BCAI).

CONNECTED’s network activities are additionally supported by awards from the British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP), the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, University of Bristol’s GCRF Impact Accelerator Account, and University of Bristol’s Faculty of Life Sciences.

If you can support CONNECTED in tackling insect-spread plant diseases, please visit our Support Us page

Watch our new film to find out more about CONNECTED and our plans for the future.