We received the Leverhulme IMMANA award to continue our water insecurity work!

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded an Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) grant from the Leverhulme Center for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH)! This award will allow us to expand our water insecurity work by teaming up with collaborators working in the  Shamba Maisha study in Kenya, Amber Wutich et al.’s Global Ethnohydrology Study, and Wendy Jepson’s water work in Brazil, among others.

Our highly-anticipated water insecurity scale will be implemented in rural and urban areas worldwide, with the majority of our work taking place in Kenya, Nepal, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Brazil, Tanzania, Ghana, and Mexico, with possible expansion to other research areas. Stay tuned for further information!


HIV, lactation, and body composition

Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Widen and co-authors whose manuscript “Food insecurity, but not HIV-infection status, is associated with adverse changes in body composition during lactation in Ugandan women of mixed HIV status” has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To our knowledge, this is the first publication to examine the role of food insecurity on weight changes in HIV+ women during lactation. These exciting results from the NAPS Ugandan pregnancy cohort can be found here.

Our Singida study won the 10th McKnight Community of Practice poster competition!

Congratulations to our colleagues, Clara Mollay (NM-AIST) and Esther Kalonga (AATZ) et alia for winning the poster competition at the 10th McKnight Community of Practice image_1meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi. The poster highlighted the various activities undertaken during the first phase of this project and our baseline findings that there is high potential to benefit from this project. SNAP is starting the next phase in its implementation as farmers started to get into the next farming season.

Dr. Paula Pebsworth to discuss geophagy in non-human primates in the International Primatological Society meeting

Paula & GeresomuCongratulations to Dr. Paula Pebsworth, whose abstract “Can geophagy alter the feeding ecology of non-human primates?: a systematic literature review” has been programed for an oral presentation on Tuesday, August 23 @ 4:30, at the joint meeting of the International Primatological Society and the American Society of Primatologists in Chicago. She will discuss which non-human primate species have been observed eating earth, what kinds of earth, and where on Earth they do this.

Geophagy in non-human primates is considered adaptive and a form of self-medication; however, the proximate and ultimate mechanisms remain unknown. Paula will discuss the main physiological explanations, 3 new predictions, and lay out a research agenda.


Pregnancy, HIV, and water insecurity

Congratulations to Dr. Natalie Krumdieck and co-authors whose manuscript  “Household water insecurity is associated with a range of negative consequences among pregnant Kenyan women of mixed HIV status” was accepted into the Journal of Water and Health. This is our group’s first publication on water insecurity, and the first to our knowledge exploring household water insecurity in the context of HIV and pregnancy. These data are the basis for our more comprehensive ongoing water insecurity cohort, the Pii Ngima study.

Capture here is the moment we learned the good news: Godfred, Shalean, and the youngest members of the Young Research Group, Stella and Aurora Lucks!


BBC digs geophagy


Geophagy was focus of a recent BBC-Future story: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160615-the-people-who-cant-stop-eating-dirt. I was so happy that they took our evolutionary perspective on pica very seriously!

SNAP Mentor Farmer Selection-Village randomization complete

The Singida Nutrition and Agroecology Program (SNAP) is now successfully underway!

Farmers were invited to nominate themselves and make campaign speeches before one male and one female “mentor farmer” was selected by their villages. Pictured below are the elected mentor farmers.

These mentor farmers then gathered in Singida town to see whether the luck of the draw designated their village as intervention or delayed-intervention villages. Congratulations to all mentor farmers, and a big thank you to Action Aid Tanzania, who led the work!