Senait Senay
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota


Senait D. Senay is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota and Research Associate in the CFANS Interdisciplinary Initiative. She received her B.Sc. in Forestry from Wondo Genet College of Forestry, Southern University in Ethiopia, her M.Sc. in GIS and Remote Sensing from Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and her Ph.D. in Ecological Informatics/Biosecurity from Lincoln University, New Zealand.

Senay's research focuses on developing and enhancing spatial models that can be used to predict the distribution of agricultural pests and diseases as well as research any interaction between these pests, their hosts and the environment. Senait is interested in working on climate change adaptation issues especially regarding the increased risk from alien invasive species on livelihoods, food safety and biodiversity. She believes it is important to develop strategies that counter homogenization of species distribution, as novel climates resulting from climate change create suitable habitats for invading species.

Her work as a Research Associate for the GEMS Agroinformatics Initiative involves developing pest risk models that can fully utilize Genomics, Environment, Management, and Socio-economic data which are accessible through the GEMS platform that makes such multi-sourced data interoperable. Her active research area is to develop intuitive pest risk models that can provide realistic results through the use of un-orthodox data sources that affect pest emergence and establishment but were not usually accessible to conventional pest risk models due to challenge in data interoperability. At InSTePP, Senay works in collaboration with other fellows to integrate pest risk models within bio-economic risk models.

-International Pest Risk Research Group (IPRRG): member from 2011, elected executive committee member in 2017.
-Geographic Information Systems Society of Ethiopia (GISSE): founder and member from 2007.