Dr Coyne is the team leader of BioInnovate Africa supported project on novel biodegradable carrier (from banana fibre) for efficient crop protection. He has spent his working life in tropical agricultural research and development, with over 30 years’ in-depth experience of working with a range of important tropical food crops. This includes banana and plantain, cassava, maize, rice, yam, as well as the intensive peri-urban vegetable systems, primarily with smallholder farmers, at both the national program and international research levels. With specialization in plant nematology, his experience extends however, to the microbiome and soil health aspects in general, especially in relation to pest and disease interactions and biologically based control options.
He has been with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for 22 years, working across the African continent, although he has been physically based in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and currently in Kenya. Prior to this, he was employed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Tanzania, the British Government, GIZ and AfricaRice, in a spectrum of roles involving integrated crop protection and pest management.
He has led, managed and been involved in range of diverse projects, such as the East Africa Breeding Better Bananas Project. Being heavily involved in the nematology network in Africa, as well as beyond, he represents a pivotal position in the nematology world and is a key figure in Africa. Training underscores all of his work, whether at the farmer, technician, or academic level, with a multitude of MSc and PhD students having been successfully supervised during his career.