TED Senior Fellow Laura Boykin uses technology to help farmers in East Africa have more food to feed their families.

Why you should listen

Dr. Laura Boykin is a TED Senior Fellow, Gifted Citizen and computational biologist who uses genomics and supercomputing to help smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa control whiteflies and viruses, which cause devastation to the local cassava crops. Cassava is a staple food that feeds more than 800 million people globally.

Boykin works in partnership with African scientists to train local communities in genomics and high-performance computing skills, with the aim of tackling future insect and viral outbreaks. Recently, she founded The Cassava Virus Action Project along with collaborators in east Africa to roll out portable DNA sequencing and analyses to farmers in the region. Their mission is to increase cassava yields for 500 million farmers.

Laura Boykin’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Laura Boykin

Live from TEDSummit 2019

10 years of TED Fellows: Notes from the Fellows Session of TEDSummit 2019

July 22, 2019

The event: TEDSummit 2019, Fellows Session, hosted by Shoham Arad and Lily Whitsitt When and where: Monday, July 22, 2019, 9am BST, at the Edinburgh Convention Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland Speakers: Carl Joshua Ncube, Suzanne Lee, Sonaar Luthra, Jon Lowenstein, Alicia Eggert, Lauren Sallan, Laura Boykin Opening: A quick, witty performance from Carl Joshua Ncube, […]

Continue reading
Fellows Friday

Avoiding the hunger season: How a TED Fellow is working to save African cassava from whiteflies

May 22, 2015

For decades, the farmers of East Africa have battled the African whitefly, a tiny insect that infests the cassava crop. Cassava, also called manioc, arrowroot or tapioca, is an important food all over the world — more than half a billion people (yes, billion with a b) rely on cassava for their daily meals. For East African farmers, a whitefly infestation can completely destroy the year’s […]

Continue reading
Live from TED

On blazars, quantum computers, and looking for life on Mars: A recap of TEDFellows Session 1 at TED2015

March 17, 2015

TED Fellows and Senior Fellows have just opened TED2015 with a bang in the beautiful Kay Meek theatre in Vancouver. In the first session, discover: how bacteria can be programmed to detect and treat cancer, a yellow legal pad that smuggles transgressive data into the halls of power, what makes non-state armed groups tick, hyperactive supermassive black […]

Continue reading