Less is More: defining a more global network
With around 1500 members from 85 countries, CONNECTED is a truly global network. We have recently explored where CONNECTED Members are based, and it has led us to make a small change in how we define the network.
We found that although around 70% of members are Africa-based (and the country with the highest CONNECTED membership is Nigeria with 28%), the rest are spread globally, with a strong presence in the UK, in India and Pakistan, South-East Asia and also in the USA.
This reflects the international expansion and development of the network through our work to build multi-disciplinary connections and information exchange between plant virologists and entomologists tackling vector-borne crop diseases in Africa. This expansion illustrates the global relevance of our network’s remit and purpose.
Because of this, and after careful consideration, the CONNECTED Directors and Network Team have decided to slightly rename CONNECTED, so that it stands for ‘Community Network for Vector-borne Plant Viruses’.
So instead of ‘COmmunity Network for africaN vECTor borne plant viruses’, CONNECTED will instead stand for ‘COmmuNity Network for vECTor borne plant viruses’.
Our large membership across Africa is what makes CONNECTED unique, strong and valuable internationally, and we will continue to engage and add value for researchers in this region.
However we believe the change of name is appropriate, as the network should also be open to researchers in other regions who will benefit from and contribute to our shared knowledge hub. This is particularly important as climate change continues to affect the distribution of vector-borne plant viruses around the world.
Keep an eye on our website or follow us on Twitter to find out what we are doing to connect plant pathologists and entomologists and link cutting-edge research with local expertise. We also plan to build global online peer support networks, which may be more regionally focused.