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Jarvis, Devra I.

DEVRA JARVIS is Principal Scientist at Bioversity International, and leads the Bioversity International Team on Genetic Diversity Productivity and Resilience. Jarvis is also Adjunct Faculty at Washington State University, Adjunct Professor at the Institut Agronomique et Veterinaire Hassan II, Morocco, and Research Coordinator for the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research hosted at Bioversity International.

Before joining Bioversity International, Jarvis worked for the UN World Food Program, 1992-96 in China as M&E officer, and in Uganda as Head, Emergency and Relief. Since 1996, Jarvis has worked at Bioversity, collaborating with national partners in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia Morocco, Vietnam, China, Nepal, Hungary, Syria, Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Ethiopia, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the U.S., and the European Union to develop scientific evidence to support the use of local crop genetic diversity to improve the production and resilience of small-holder farmers.

She is currently also developing university course materials with national universities to train extension workers around the world in improving local productivity with crop genetic diversity in the production system. Jarvis also brings together national partners in the fields of crop, livestock, fisheries and associated biodiversity to examine how diverse components of the agricultural ecosystem could support ecosystem resilience and services as part of the preparation of the CDB programme of work on Agricultural Biodiversity.

The impact of her collaboration with national partners ranges from reduce damage from pests and disease without pesticides for common bean and banana in Uganda and Ecuador, fruit tree nurseries in Central Asia providing over 1.5 million traditional varieties annually to farmers, and participatory bred varieties of rice, sorghum and millet being released through national systems in Nepal and Mali.



PhD, Botany, Quaternary Palynology, University of Washington

MSc, Forest Research Management, University of Washington

BA Honors, Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley

Publication highlights:

Jarvis, DI, Hodgkin, T,. Brown, AHD, Tuxill ,J, Lopez Noriega, I, Smale, M, Sthapit, B. 2016. Crop Genetic Diversity in the Field and on the Farm; Principles and Applications in Research Practices. Yale University Press, New Haven, NY. p. 416. (translated into Chinese and Arabic).

Jarvis, DI, C Padoch, and HD Cooper (Eds.) 2007. Managing Biodiversity in Agricultural Ecosystems. Columbia University Press, NY. USA. p. 492 (translated into Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, French and Korean).

Fenzi, M; Jarvis, DI, Arias Reyes, LM, Latournerie Moreno, L, Tuxill, J. 2017. Longitudinal analysis of maize diversity in Yucatan, Mexico: influence of agro-ecological factors on landraces conservation and modern variety introduction. Plant Genetic Resources Characterization and Utilization. Volume 15, pp. 51-63

Coomes, OT; McGuire, S; Garine, E; Caillon, S.; McKey, D; Demeulenaere, E., Jarvis, D; Aistara, G; Barnaud, A; Clouvel, P; Emperaire, L; Louafi, S; Martin, P; Massol, F; Pautasso, M; Violon, C; Wencelius, J, 2015. Farmer seed networks make a limited contribution to agriculture? Four common misconceptions. Food Policy , 56:41-50

Ssekandi, W., Mulumba, J.W., Colangelo, P., Nankya, R., Fadda, C., Karungi, J., Otim, M., De Santis, P., Jarvis, D.I., 2016. The use of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) traditional varieties and their mixtures with commercial varieties to manage bean fly (Ophiomyia spp.) infestations in Uganda, Journal of Pest Science. 89, , pp 45–57

Mulumba JW, R Nankya, J Adokorach, C Kiwuka, C Fadda, P De Santis, DI Jarvis. 2012. A risk-minimizing argument for traditional crop varietal diversity use to reduce pest and disease damage in agricultural ecosystem of Uganda. Agriculture, Ecosystem and the Environment, 157: 70–86.

Jarvis, DI., T. Hodgkin, BR Sthapit, C Fadda, I Lopez-Noriega. 2011. A Heuristic Framework for Identifying Multiple Ways of Supporting the Conservation and Use of Traditional Crop Varieties within the Agricultural Production System, Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 301-49.

Gyawali, S, B. R. Sthapit, B. Bhandari, J. Bajracharya, P. K. Shrestha, M. P. Upadhyay, D. I. Jarvis. 2010. Participatory crop improvement and formal release of Jethobudho rice landrace in Nepal. Euphytica, 176:59-78

Jarvis, DI, AHD Brown, PH Cuong, L Collado-Panduro, L Latourniere-Moreno, S Gaywali, T Tanto, M Sawadogo, I Mar, M Sadiki, NTN Hue, L Arias-Reyes, D Balma, J Bajrachary, F Castillo, D Rijal, L Belqadi, R Rana, S Saidi, J Ouedraogo, R Zangre, K Rhrib, JL Chavez, Dl Schoen, BR Sthapit, P De Santis, C Fadda,and T Hodgkin 2008, A global perspective of the richness and evenness of traditional crop variety diversity maintained by farming communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 108; 5326-5331.

Hajjar R, DI Jarvis, and B Gemmill, 2008. The utility of crop genetic diversity in maintaining ecosystem services. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and the Environment. 123: 261-270.