Ireti Balogun started off as an intern with AbacusBio in June 2018. During her internship, she worked on various projects, including the implementation of AbacusBio's AniCloud and Anicapture ventures, reviewing literature, analysing data, and generating client reports.
Originally from Nigeria, Ireti moved to Dunedin to embark on a PhD in 2019 through the University of Otago in partnership with Cornell University's NextGen Cassava Breeding Programme. The NextGen Cassava Breeding Programme is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UK aid. Ireti's PhD project will develop breeding objectives that prioritise smallholder farmers' preferences for cassava with an emphasis on gender-related traits.
Taking gender-based preferences into account in the development of developing breeding objectives can have a positive impact on food security and the livelihoods of smallholder farms.
As part of her PhD, Ireti will be working closely with rural communities in Nigeria and potentially Uganda.