Cory Whitney

Cory Whitney
University of Bonn | Uni Bonn · Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES)

Dr. agr.

About

119
Publications
32,483
Reads
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580
Citations
Citations since 2017
93 Research Items
572 Citations
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Introduction
I use collaborative research and holistic analysis approaches to describe systems and model causal impact pathways. I work with diverse groups including researchers, food activists, small-scale farmers and indigenous communities to address issues of direct relevance and offer new lenses through which to view the development process. My work is related to human ecology, ethnobotany and agrobiodiversity.
Additional affiliations
April 2018 - present
University of Bonn
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2016 - present
Center for Development Research (ZEF)
Position
  • Researcher
November 2013 - June 2017
Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences
Position
  • Scientific staff
Education
November 2014 - July 2018
Universität Kassel
Field of study
  • Agriculture
September 2009 - May 2011
George-August Universität Göttingen / Universität Kassel
Field of study
  • Sustainable International Agriculture/International Organic Agriculture
September 2001 - May 2003
College of the Atlantic
Field of study
  • Human Ecology

Publications

Publications (119)
Article
Governments around the world seek to create programs that will support sustainable agriculture and achieve food security, yet they are faced with uncertainty, system complexity and data scarcity when making such choices. We propose decision modeling as an innovative approach to help meet these challenges and offer a case study to show the effective...
Article
Full-text available
Governments around the world have agreed to end hunger and food insecurity and to improve global nutrition, largely through changes to agriculture and food systems. However, they are faced with a lot of uncertainty when making policy decisions, since any agricultural changes will influence social and biophysical systems, which could yield either po...
Article
Full-text available
Agroforestry interventions have the potential to benefit the livelihoods of farmers and communities worldwide. However, given the high system complexity, the long-term benefits of agroforestry are difficult to anticipate. This study aimed to integrate uncertainty into long-term performance projections for agroforestry interventions in the highlands...
Article
Full-text available
Voluntary standards can help to ensure the quality of projects eligible for carbon offsetting, i.e., selling carbon certificates. However, in deciding on whether to adopt such standards, the managers of carbon offset projects are faced with uncertainty regarding the costs and risks involved. Decision Analysis provides a helpful set of tools that ca...
Article
Full-text available
Intervening into agricultural systems necessarily includes risks, uncertainties, and ultimately unknown outcomes. Decision analysis embraces uncertainty through an interdisciplinary approach that involves relevant stakeholders in evaluating complex decisions. We applied decision analysis approaches to prioritize 21 farm management interventions, wh...
Article
Quantification of plant biomass and carbon in ecosystems is critical for climate change mitigation. For large trees in various ecosystems, allometric models for estimating biomass have been developed but few biomass equations exist for small trees and shrubby vegetation. Allometric above-ground biomass (AGB) models are needed for small trees and sh...
Article
Full-text available
Availability is a crucial aspect of wild edible plants (WEPs) consumption by indigenous communities. Understanding the local perception of this availability helps to determine, which contribution WEPs can make to rural communities. We used an integrated participatory approach to investigate important parameters and themes that influenced the percep...
Article
Woody plants support livelihoods and the well-being of billions of people worldwide. However, the establishment, management, and use of essential woody species can vary across regions. We sought to describe the diversity and uses of woody species and explore the values for which people maintain and protect these plants. We conducted research in the...
Article
Full-text available
Many farmers hesitate to adopt new management strategies with actual or perceived risks and uncertainties. Especially in ornamental plant production, farmers often stick to current production strategies to avoid the risk of economically harmful plant losses, even though they may recognize the need to optimize farm management. This work focused on t...
Article
Full-text available
Farmers’ agricultural practices in Vietnam are highly sensitive to weather, climate variability and climate change. The lack of timely and actionable climate-informed agricultural advice leads to significant input and yield losses, which can render investments in farming unprofitable. Development organizations in Vietnam have provided agro-climate...
Article
Full-text available
The introduction of organic farm management practices in sub-Saharan Africa could act as a lever for supporting regional sustainable development. In this study, we sought to assess the sustainability performance of organic (certified and non-certified) and non-organic farms in the dry Kajiado County and the wet Murang’a County in Kenya, based on fo...
Article
CONTEXT Even though diversification of horticultural production systems allows farmers to cope with risks and uncertainties, strategies for raising profitability usually aim to improve the productivity of monocultures rather than pursuing diversification. Horticultural production systems are often highly diversified in terms of land use and planted...
Article
Full-text available
Decision making in pest management is a challenging task. While pest dynamics are often quite uncertain, such decisions are often based on tenuous assumptions of certainty (economic injury levels and marginal utility approximations). To overcome such assumptions and adequately consider uncertainty, we apply decision analysis to evaluate management...
Article
Full-text available
Ornamental heather (Calluna vulgaris) production is characterized by high risks such as occurrence of fungal diseases and plant losses. Given the general absence of formal research on this economically important production system, farmers depend on their own approaches to assess plant vitality. We provide a reproducible, affordable and transparent...
Article
Full-text available
National-scale carbon footprints of livestock production are commonly computed from a set of production system characteristics that serve as inputs for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission models. We evaluated the feasibility of using such equations at a finer scale to derive a simple farm-scale indicator of emission intensity (milk yield per head). Using...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Wild edible plants have been an important source for human nutrition since ancient times, in particular when access to food is constrained in emergency situations such as natural disasters and conflicts. The war in Syria has now been going on for 10 years since it started in 2011. In addition to the many consequences of this conflict, 6.5 million p...
Poster
Full-text available
Developing and testing farmers' adoption pathways of agro-climate services
Article
Socio-Cultural Significance of Yerba Maté among Syrian Residents and Diaspora. Syria is the world's second-largest importer of the dried leaves of Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil., commonly known as yerba maté. The unique story of yerba maté in the Syrian beverage culture started at the beginning of the twentieth century when Syrian migrants returnin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Voluntary standards help to ensure the quality of projects eligible for carbon offsetting, i.e. selling carbon certificates. However, in deciding on whether to adopt such standards the managers of carbon offset projects are faced with uncertainty regarding the costs and risks involved. Decision Analysis provides a helpful set of tools that can supp...
Article
Full-text available
Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) is carried out with the objective of regaining ecological functions and enhancing human well-being through intervention in degrading ecosystems. However, uncertainties and risks related to FLR make it difficult to predict long-term outcomes and inform investment plans. We applied a Stochastic Impact Evaluation...
Article
Available options for mitigating the impacts of extreme weather events on temperate fruit trees involve a number of risks and uncertainties, leaving growers hesitant about the benefits of implementing new technologies to protect their orchards. We used Decision Analysis approaches, which account for these risks and uncertainties, to assess investme...
Article
Full-text available
Crop models can support agricultural decisions, yet their reliability is necessarily limited when they do not sufficiently represent the complexity and specific circumstances of the target system. In some cases, models have such prohibitively high data requirements that they are only applicable with far-reaching and often questionable assumptions....
Chapter
Agroforestry systems dot agricultural landscapes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where they provide food, fuelwood, fibre, fodder and other products that are used at home or sold for income. Agroforestry also provides ecosystem services that are important and critical for improved livelihoods. By combining trees and/or shrubs with crops and/or livesto...
Article
Full-text available
Many actors in agricultural research, development, and policy arenas require accurate information on the spatial extents of cropping and farming practices. While remote sensing provides ways for obtaining such information, it is often difficult to distinguish between different types of agricultural practices or identify particular farming systems....
Article
Full-text available
Background: Most regions of Myanmar fall within the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot and are threatened with biodiversity loss. Development of a comprehensive framework for sustainable development is crucial. Figs are ecological keystone species within these regions and are also important for traditional spiritual food and health uses, which often...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Forests play an important role in supporting social wellbeing and livelihoods. Forests and forest cover over most of sub-Saharan Africa is being cut down (deforestation) or converted into other vegetation or other land cover forms (degradation). Knowledge on the status of forest cover and how it has been changing is vital for developing the appropr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) is one of Uganda's many traditional pulses and may have an important role to play in helping the country to achieve food and nutritional security, while at the same time protecting and enhancing natural resources. The sustainable cultivation of pigeonpea will require, among other things, identification of suit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Subtropical areas such as the major fruit production zone of Chile are among the most vulnerable environments to climate change. Increasing frequencies of unusual weather events, e.g. excessive rainfall or hail and frost episodes, during the growing season can cause severe fruit losses. This can threaten the viability of farm. and have implications...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Farmers' agricultural practices in Vietnam are highly sensitive to variable weather and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The lack of timely and actionable weather forecasts and agricultural advisories can lead to significant yield loss and unprofitable investments in agricultural inputs, which can have severe consequences for resource-c...
Article
Winter chill, which temperate trees require in order to overcome dormancy, is expected to decrease substantially in the future in most deciduous fruit tree growing areas. Several mathematical models have been developed in different regions to quantify chill requirements of tree species and cultivars. The Dynamic model has emerged as the most plausi...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in winter temperature is less well understood than in annual and summer temperatures over long timescales, particularly in low-latitude (0–30° N) montane regions with large spatial and topographic heterogeneity. Understanding these variations could be critical for forest manageemnt in these important tree growing regions. We collected tre...
Article
Agricultural management decisions are usually made without perfect knowledge. Decision Analysis (DA) approaches translate available uncertain information on costs, benefits and risks involved in decisions into actionable management recommendations. We illustrate the use of DA procedures to inform decisions on disease management strategies in orname...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Fig trees are ecological keystone species in many tropical regions and play important roles in the spirituality, nutrition and health for many rural communities. Although the tropical forests in Myanmar contain many fig species, little ethnobotanical knowledge on their uses has been recorded.Information about the uses and conservation r...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Most regions of Myanmar fall within the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot and are threatened of biodiversity loss. Development of a comprehensive framework for sustainable development is crucial. Figs are ecological keystone species within these regions and are also important for their traditional spiritual, food and health uses, which of...
Article
Full-text available
Winter chill is expected to decrease in many of the suitable growing regions for deciduous trees. Argentinean North Patagonia hosts extensive fruit tree cultivation, which provides an important contribution to both local and global food security. Using historic records from 11 weather stations from North Patagonia, we evaluate the possible impacts...
Article
Full-text available
Forests in low-latitude (0° N–30° N) regions are important for greenhouse gas sequestration. They harbor around 25% of vegetation carbon stocks. The productivity of these forests is expected to change as the global climate changes. They may absorb less greenhouse gasses, with negative effects on the global climate. However, little is known about ho...
Article
Full-text available
In Mediterranean climates, many deciduous fruit trees are unable to meet their seasonal chill requirements, a situation that may be exacerbated by global warming. Modeling approaches can be used to assess the impacts of climate change on tree crops for the past and forecast possible impacts for the future. We apply modeling approaches to assess cli...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable land management is at the heart of some of the most intractable challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. It is critical for tackling biodiversity loss, land degradation, climate change and the decline of ecosystem services. It underpins food production, livelihoods, dietary health, social equity, climate change adaptation, and ma...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural landscapes are increasingly being managed with the aim of enhancing the provisioning of multiple ecosystem services and sustainability of production systems. However, agricultural management that maximizes provisioning ecosystem services can often reduce both regulating and maintenance services. We hypothesized that agroforestry reduce...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Colombian population is threatened by noncommunicable diseases. However, local people still use medicinal plants for the treatment of a wide range of health disorders. This research aimed to inventory medicinal plants used for the treatment of obesity, diabetes, hyper-tension and heart diseases available within local herbal shops (herboristerías)....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This survey was conducted in 96 randomly sampled home gardens across eight villages of the Thegon Township situated in Bago region. The research aimed to assess the species diversity of cultivated and wild plants to uncover typology of local home gardens and finally to document traditional botanical knowledge on useful plants and plant management p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Colombian population is considerably threatened by noncommunicable diseases. However , as traditional medicine is still popular in Colombia, the local people do not hesitate to use medicinal plants for the treatment of a wide range of health disorders. This research aimed to inventory medicinal plants used for the treatment of obesity, diabetes, hy...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This survey was conducted in 96 randomly sampled home gardens across eight villages of the Thegon Township situated in Bago region. The research aimed to assess the species diversity of cultivated and wild plants to uncover typology of local home gardens and finally to document traditional botanical knowledge on useful plants and plant management p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Winter chill, which temperate trees require to overcome dormancy, is expected to decrease substantially in the future in most deciduous fruit tree growing areas. Several mathematical models have been applied in different regions around the world to quantify this chill requirement. While the 'Dynamic' model has emerged as the most plausible and reli...
Method
Calculate common quantitative ethnobotany indices to assess the cultural signifi- cance of plant species based on informant consensus. The package closely follows the pa- per by Tardio and Pardo-de-Santayana (2008). Tardio, J., and M. Pardo-de-Santayana, 2008. Cul- tural Importance Indices: A Comparative Analysis Based on the Useful Wild Plants of...
Article
Full-text available
This data article provides the datasets that are used in the holistic ex-ante impact evaluation of an irrigation dam construction project in Northern Ethiopia [1]. We used an expert knowledge elicitation approach as a means of acquiring the data. The data shared here captures all the parameters considered important in the impact pathway (i.e. the e...
Article
Irrigation plays a significant role in achieving food and nutrition security in dry regions. However, detailed ex- ante appraisals of irrigation development investments are required to efficiently allocate resources and optimize returns on investment. Due to the inherent system complexity and uncertain consequences of irrigation develop- ment inter...
Chapter
Many stakeholders including the Ugandan government are growing trees and contributing to increasing tree cover in Uganda. Whereas the contribution of large-scale tree growers to increasing tree cover has been documented, that of smallholder tree growers (STGs) is not known. But because STGs make up the majority of tree growers, it is possible that...
Article
In the arid areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, perennial challenges of water scarcity and food insecurity are exacerbated by climate change and variability. The development of robust strategies to cope with the region's climatic challenges requires thorough consideration of uncertainty and risk in decision making. We demonstrate the use of probabilistic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Agroforestry may benefit many farmers of Northwest Vietnam, but it is often difficult to anticipate which of many possible options promises the greatest returns on investment. We applied holistic modelling approaches to provide ex-ante assessments of Net Present Values for seven agroforestry interventions promoted by the World Agroforestry Centre i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Agroforestry (AF) is an important contributor to global efforts that seek to address climate change and maintain or increase ecosystem services. AF provides food and other products, while improving soil fertility, erosion control, water regulation and other regulating / maintenance ecosystem services, the supply of which varies from place to place...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A quantitative risk-based framework is presented for improving planning and performance management of agroforestry interventions at farm and project levels. The framework first identifies the goals of the various stakeholders involved and the intervention options being considered. Then the various on-site and off-site costs, benefits and risks asso...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Evidence suggests that planting more fruit trees could benefit Kenya’s national agenda of improving livelihoods and reducing malnutrition. However, evidence-based support for specific policy decisions regarding fruit trees is lacking. Decision analysis tools can utilize available expert knowledge rather than requiring perfect data from costly long-...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Decision analysis tools can help to utilise available data and expert knowledge rather than requiring hard data from costly long-term fieldwork and experiments. They allow for the incorporation of disparate data sources and what might be considered 'imprecise' inputs to create a representation of the current understanding of cause and effect relati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The mountainous northwest of Vietnam, bordering Lao PDR and China, is home for the majority of the country's ethnic minorities. Both poverty and food insecurity are common in the region. Slash-and-burn maize, rice and cassava monocultures have been the main source of local livelihoods for decades. However, increasing population and land scarcity ha...
Thesis
In Uganda many farmer households have diverse agroforestry systems known as homegardens, which have been adapted over generations to supply a year-round harvest of nutritious foods. The work presented in this dissertation sought to identify the factors that influence the agrobiodiversity of these homegardens and to assess the effects of that agrobi...
Thesis
Full-text available
In Uganda many farmer households manage diverse homegardens, which have been adapted over generations to supply a year-round harvest of nutritious foods. Various factors influence the agrobiodiversity of these homegardens and consequently the health of the households that keep them. Homegardens in southwestern Uganda (n=102) contained over 200 crop...
Article
Full-text available
The contribution of homegardens to the food and nutrition security of rural farmers has rarely been explored empirically. Our study assesses the influence of homegarden agrobiodiversity, production system parameters, and socioeconomic factors on household dietary diversity and anthropometric conditions in southwest Uganda. Plant inventories of 102...
Article
Full-text available
Decision model for predicting the nutritional benefits of introducing fruits trees on smallholders farms in Kenya
Article
Full-text available
Homegardens are traditional food systems that have been adapted over generations to fit local cultural and ecological conditions. They provide a year-round diversity of nutritious foods for smallholder farming communities in many regions of the tropics and subtropics. In southwestern Uganda, homegardens are the primary source of food, providing a d...
Article
Full-text available
Homegardens are species-rich agroforestry systems with a high diversity of associated traditional knowledge. These systems are an important part of food security for rural marginalized poor around the world, particularly in the humid tropics. Despite the high diversity and cultural importance, little is known about the livelihood-relevant plant div...
Article
Full-text available
Decision Analysis applied to irrigation reservoir management decisions in Burkina Faso
Technical Report
Full-text available
The report outlines some Decision Analysis tools for the adaptation and application of Bayesian Networks to agriculture for nutrition development contexts. These are promising as effective strategies for dealing with complex systems, multiple impact pathways, uncertain and incomplete information and other current constraints to meaningful quantitat...