Since 2021 we have been running online seminars to facilitate knowledge-sharing and interaction between members. Recordings of the 2021 CONNECTED Seminars are available to network members on the CONNECTED Vimeo channel (or on the members’ page Watch CONNECTED Seminars).

This approach emerged from the pandemic, from the need for CONNECTED to adapt to the challenges of remote and online working. It allows us to continue to connect researchers and stakeholders from around the world in a cost effective way.


18 February 2021

  • Dr Cathrine Ziyomo, Director of Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA)–ILRI Hub Repositioning the BecA – ILRI hub into a One CGIAR Biosciences for Africa
  • Dr Sylvester Dickson Baguma, Director at National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) NARO-Bulindi Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Uganda NARO’s strategic contribution to agro-industrialisation and implications to plant health


15 April 2021

  • Dr. Yvonne Pinto, Managing Director, ALINE Systems Change, using a deliberate approach to M & E to learn about what’s working and why*
  • Prof. John P. Carr, University of Cambridge, UK Viral manipulation of plant-vector interaction**

**Prof. Carr was unable to address questions raised at the end of his presentation but has subsequently provided the following responses

Q. Does the volatiles interfere and confuse the settling of aphids in the assay- plants are quite closely placed?

Prof. Carr: Thank you for your question. The experiments shown assay the combined effects of olfactory cues, appearance (if done under normal illumination), so we also do olfactometry (e.g. Y-tube) to isolate the effects of volatiles.

Q. I wanted to know which type of environment favour aphids to change sex. for example male to female.

Prof. Carr: Thank you for your question. An individual aphid does not change sex during its lifetime, but under certain environmental or seasonal circumstances females will start to produce males. I have attached a short review about this, which I hope is useful (Braendel et al. attached).

Q. Do you think the result of your study is also applicable to other viruses vectored by aphids? or other viruses vectored by other

Prof. Carr: Thank you for your question. Yes, we think some of the findings will be useful for understanding viruses that are transmitted in the non-persistent mode. This is particularly so with respect to the changes in behaviour caused by the virally induced changes in plant taste, odour or surface cues. However, how the plant is specifically manipulated by CMV or how CMV proteins interact with each other is of more specialist interest to people working on cucumoviruses.


17 June 2021

  • Dr James Legg, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Managing Vector-Borne Viruses of Cassava
  • Dr Andy Bailey, University of Bristol , UK Exploring the role of Ham1 in Cassava Brown Streak Disease


19 August 2021

  • Dr Lava Kumar, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria Controlling Transboundary Spread of Vector-Borne Viruses in Africa: Banana Bunchy Top Virus Case Study
  • Dr Emmanuel Okogbenin, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Kenya The Imperatives and Key Tweaks to Building a Sustainable Agricultural Transformative Change in Africa


14 October 2021

  • Dr. Jane Wamaitha Mwathi of Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KARLO), on managing and educating farmers on Maize lethal necrosis in Kenya
  • Professor Richard Hopkins of the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), on Insect Searching Patterns and Host Selection


16 December 2022

  • Prisca Nwachukwu, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Dr Isaac Macharia, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Kenya, speaking about the role of  Phytosanitary regulations in mitigating vectors borne viruses: A case study of Eastern Africa


19 May 2022

  • Dr Henry Creissen, Research Fellow/Lecturer in Crop Protection, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), on Measuring and supporting the adoption of IPM practices in the UK
  • Dr Julian Smith, Science Director, Protecting Crops and Environment, Rothamsted Research, on cassava seed systems and control of CMD and CBSD


22 September 2022

  • Dr Wubetu Bihon Legesse, World Vegetable Center, Ethiopia 
    Diagnosis and identification of virus diseases on vegetables 
  • Dr Tom Pope, Harper Adams University, UK 
    Developing sustainable approaches to the management of aphid BYDV vectors in cereals 


Thursday 15th December 2022

  • Prof Sarah Gurr, University of Exeter, UK
  • Dr Neil Brown, University of Bath, UK

This seminar on fungal pathogens has unfortunately been postponed due to our Zoom being hacked. We are taking steps to ensure this does not happen again.


Thursday 16th March 2023


  • Dr Adrian Fox, Fera Science, UK
  • Dr Ian Adams, Fera Science, UK