I was raised in rural highlands of central Kenya on a small farm where tea is the main cash crop. At a young age, I had a great interest in plants and often had a small kitchen garden. I graduated from University of Nairobi with M.Sc. in Plant Pathology and worked with the Government of Kenya in various crop research projects. Before joining University of Manitoba for a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics, I worked at Monsanto Canada (Bayer) in Canola trait integration and seed quality analyses. My doctorial project explored molecular mapping of genes for controlling Fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol accumulation in winter wheat. As a consultant with Nutrasteward (United Kingdom), I contributed to animal experimental design, data processing for statistical analyses and writing technical reports for regulatory dossiers.
As a Post Doctoral Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, (AAFC, Morden, Manitoba,) I was involved in research for developing high quality and disease resistant beans using both molecular techniques (genome-wide association mapping) and conventional methods of breeding. Research activities involved collaboration with crop research departments within AAFC and genome Quebec. At University of Guelph, my research focused on mitigation of mycotoxins contamination in animal feeds, an increasingly serious issue amid looming climate change.