Expert in the forecast and control of locust plagues

Locust plagues are at least as old as recorded history. The desert locust is the locust of the Qur’an and the Bible’s eighth plague of Egypt; they have probably been insect pests since man first began to grow crops. When, in the late 1980s, swarms of desert locusts extended from Mauritania and Senegal to the Persian Gulf, Joyce Magor, who has died aged 82, was sent to Dakar as a locust forecaster to help international efforts to control the swarms that were threatening farming livelihoods in the Sahel region.

This was the first plague in nearly 40 years – and African countries were unprepared and highly vulnerable. Donors were faced with providing nearly $300m in emergency aid to cope with the crisis. The plague, which declined in early 1989, triggered an extensive international effort to develop improved methods to predict the size of locust populations locusts and more environmentally sensitive ways to control them.

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Source: Guardian Environment