Laura Boykin is an American computational biologist who uses genomics and supercomputing to help smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa control whiteflies, which have caused devastation of local cassava crops. Using genetic data to understand the whitefly’s evolution, Boykin’s research has proven important genetic differences in various whitefly species. Boykin also works to equip African scientists with a greater knowledge of genomics and high-performance computing skills to tackle future insect outbreaks. Boykin completed her PhD in biology at the University of New Mexico while working at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group, and is currently an Research Fellow in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the ARC CoE Plant Energy Biology at the University of Western Australia. She was recently named a TED Fellow.
TED Fellow 2015