I am a postdoctoral researcher in human geography with an interest in the intersection of smallholder agriculture, rural development, poverty analysis and remote sensing and GIS applications in the Global South. These interests have crystallized from my background in geography and resource development at the bachelor’s level at the University of Ghana and development geography at the master’s level at the University of Oslo. My doctoral research sought to come to grips with the conundrum of smallholder agricultural productivity gaps in rain-fed family farms in Ghana. The dissertation utilized an interdisciplinary approach and innovative tools to measure crop yields and highlight shortfalls of current approaches to yield measurement. Continuing in the same vein of using innovations to tackle age-old problems, my postdoctoral work, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, seeks to mix household surveys, satellite imagery and machine learning in human development studies and poverty analysis. We have recently completed a study which uses human experts to estimate welfare levels from ultra-high-resolution satellite imagery from all DHS cluster locations in Tanzania. Going forward, we will compare the performance of these human experts and machine learning algorithms and try to understand what humans can learn from the documented superhuman performance of deep learning algorithms in this domain of research.
My main teaching interests centre around Geographic Information Systems and research methods. Currently, I mainly serve as the course convener and teacher for the 15-credit course titled GIS for the Social Science. Being a free-standing course, the course is often taken by students at both Masters and PhD levels. I also teach the GIS component of the methods course Theory of Science for Development Research on the LUMID programme. At the bachelor’s level, I am a member of the teaching staff of the Theory of Science and Research Methods where I am responsible for the quantitative research design, methods, and data analysis. I also enjoy supervising students in the BIDS programme.
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