The team

Our expertise and links with the global livestock community are crucial for success.

SEBI-Livestock is uniquely positioned to close the livestock data gap, with expertise in veterinary science, data science, social science, international development and communications.

Meet the team

Dr. Karen Smyth

Dr. Karen Smyth

Program Director
Dr Smyth brings over 20 years of senior-level scientific research coordination and management experience to this role, including as Acting Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) in Stockholm, Sweden. Karen has worked primarily in the agricultural and environmental sector and has a PhD in Social Policy. From 2016 until 2023, she served as Deputy Director of SEBI-Livestock.
Fiona Allan

Dr. Fiona Allan

Researcher (Animal Health)

Fiona contributes technical and scientific expertise in animal health, providing support to the SEBI-Livestock monitoring and learning team.  She also contributes to the publication of peer-reviewed outputs of SEBI-Livestock, including field projects and systematic reviews, and other reports for external consumption.  Fiona is a veterinarian with specialist knowledge of the current challenges facing smallholder producers in low- and middle-income countries.  She has a PhD in Infection and Immunity from the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, and has multidisciplinary experience of clinical practice, study design and implementation, rural field work, molecular techniques, questionnaire design, and focus group workshops with smallholder farmers in Tanzania.

Vlad Cherman

Data analyst programmer

Vlad joined the SEBI-Livestock team to help support the processing, testing and analysis of project data. He has a keen interest in uncovering findings and developing data-driven solutions that can lead to improvements in public health, particularly within underprivileged communities. Vlad has previous experience analysing data for a large-scale mental health survey on Scottish students. He holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Computer Science, as well as a Masters degree in Data Analytics.

Dr. Louise Donnison

SEBI-L Deputy Director, Head of Data and Monitoring

Louise leads the delivery of the data component of the SEBI-Livestock project. She is committed to delivering data solutions focused on stakeholder needs. Louise previously worked in the IT industry for over 10 years delivering complex projects in multiple sectors (finance, telecoms and government) and countries (mainly New Zealand, Canada and UK). She has also managed data for a salmon genomics project and critically appraised evidence for a water quality systematic map project. She has a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford, a PhD in Grassland Soil Ecology from the University of Aberystwyth, and a diploma in Business Analysis from the British Computer Society.

Karen Galloway

Senior Project Manager

Karen joined the SEBI-L team in December 2023 as Senior Project Manager. Karen has a background in commercial marketing and communications, an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and brings a broad range of business skills to the team. Karen is responsible for the commercial, business and development of SEBI-L.

Isla MacVicar

Isla MacVicar

Researcher

Isla joined the SEBI-Livestock team as a University of Glasgow graduate in 2019, with a BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Bioscience and an MSc in Biomedical Sciences. Isla is currently involved in the development of the livestock evidence base. She has a keen interest in evidence synthesis methodologies, animal health and veterinary science, data analysis and gender dimensions in the livestock sector. While studying at Glasgow University, she was involved in an equine nutrition project and she also conducted research in the fields of neuroscience, prosthesis and engineering.

 

Vanessa Meadu

Vanessa Meadu

Communications and Knowledge Exchange Specialist

Vanessa leads communications and knowledge exchange activities for SEBI-Livestock as well as for the Livestock Data for Decisions (LD4D) Community of Practice. She has a deep interest in sustainable development communications, particularly in the agricultural sector. She previously led communications for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) based at the University of Copenhagen, and was a Communications Officer at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

Alap Mehta

Alap Mehta

Data Scientist

Alap is a Data Scientist at SEBI-Livestock. He initially joined the team while doing his Masters degree, developing a prototype process for data extraction using novel data science tools. Alap has keen interests in building algorithms and designing experiments to merge, manage, interrogate and extract data to supply insights to colleagues, customers or the wider organisation. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, and Masters degree in Data Science.

Ana Miranda

LD4D Development Manager

Ana is an economist with expertise in providing technical assistance to programmes targeting smallholder farming systems. She has worked as a monitoring and evaluation specialist for FAO and UNDP in different projects across Latin America and Africa.  She has a MSc in Economics for Rural Development and a MA in Social Policy and Social Development from the University of Manchester. As LD4D Manager her role is to lead on the development of the network and delivery of outputs and outcomes.

Carys Redman-White

Carys Redman-White

PhD Candidate

Carys is a PhD candidate using interdisciplinary data-focused methods to investigate antimicrobial use and resistance at the livestock-human interface in sub-Saharan Africa, working with SEBI-Livestock and the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security. She is exploring how existing data covering a range of biological, socioeconomic, and environmental factors can be mobilised to fill gaps in knowledge in resource-poor locations where direct surveillance of antimicrobials is challenging. Carys holds degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Zoology from Cambridge University and worked in clinical practice before returning to university to gain an MRes in Epidemiology from Newcastle University. She is studying with the EASTBIO Doctoral Training Partnership and is supervised in her PhD by Professor Dominic Moran, Professor Andy Peters, and Dr Adrian Muwonge.

Antonia Robb

Antonia Robb

SEBI Administrative Officer

Antonia is responsible for leading SEBI-Livestock’s administrative and financial services. This includes the project’s administrative function, co-ordinating the financial management of the project budget and organising international meetings and workshops. Antonia brings extensive experience in administration, having worked in administrative roles within Edinburgh University since 2006. She has previous experience working within the finance and travel industries.

Dr. Frances Ryan

Dr. Frances Ryan

Researcher (Livestock and Environment)

Frances is currently supporting SEBI-Livestock to build an evidence base, focused on the connections between livestock production and the environment. Frances has a varied environmental and biological science background. Previous work has involved researching chemicals in the environment as well as monitoring pollen. Frances has also explored the relationship between India’s mandatory corporate social responsibility spend and smallholders, who supply rice to large companies. Frances holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, in conjunction with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), where she developed a nutrient budget assessment approach for livestock and arable systems in Scotland covering a 31 year period.

Gareth Salmon

Dr. Gareth Salmon

Senior Researcher

Gareth currently supports a range of SEBI-Livestock’s activities including monitoring and evaluation, the development of the livestockdata.org website, and research on livestock production and economic modelling. He has experience working with livestock production in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, and also practical experience of livestock farming in the UK. Gareth holds a PhD from The University of Edinburgh and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), where he investigated productivity and GHG emissions intensity of Senegalese dairy production systems.

Dr. Christian Schnier

Dr. Christian Schnier

Epidemiologist

Christian helps to develop and implement SEBI-Livestock’s scope of activities in the collection, analysis and publication of livestock related data and information. He obtained a PhD in Veterinary Epidemiology from the University of Helsinki and has since been working on the frontline of both veterinary and human epidemiology and public health. He has published several epidemiological studies using information from large national health data sets. Christian has got a keen interest in agriculture and runs a small holding farm in the Scottish Borders.

Xiawen Wang

Xiawen Wang

Data Scientist

Xiawen joined the SEBI-Livestock team as a Data Scientist to provide data processing support for the project datasets. Xiawen is interested in programming and providing technical solutions to make large-scale data more accessible and understandable. She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Genetics and an MSc degree in Bioinformatics from the University of Edinburgh. She has research experience in processing and analysing genome-wide association data and large-scale chromatin structure imaging data.

Johanna Wong

Dr. Johanna Wong

Monitoring & Learning (M&L) Outreach Officer

Johanna is an interdisciplinary researcher interested in livestock, food systems and human nutrition. She is committed to working towards improving the livelihoods of small-scale farmers in resource-poor areas. Her PhD explored the contributions of village chickens to maternal and child nutrition in rural Timor-Leste. Johanna has experience in the design and implementation of field surveys, mixed methods research and data analysis. She has also worked on aquaculture and livestock policy analysis in Bangladesh and Nigeria. Johanna holds a degree in Veterinary Science, and a PhD in Food and Nutrition Security and Veterinary Science from the University of Sydney.