Martina Occelli has expertise in participatory breeding approaches, with a focus on eliciting farmers’ local ecological knowledge and perceptions. Before joining Cornell University’s Department of Global Development, Martina was a postdoctoral research fellow in Agricultural Economics at the Institute of Life Sciences of the Sant’ Anna School of Advanced Studies (Pisa, IT). Since 2021, she is also an official affiliate of EMbeDS (Economics and Management in the era of Data Science) at Sant’ Anna.
Martina obtained a Double Degree Master in Economic Development from the University of Pavia (IT) and the University of Hohenheim (DE). She holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Economics at the Sant’ Anna School, with a thesis focused on the role of local ecological knowledge on resilience of marginal agroecosystems. Focalizing the attention on participatory and interdisciplinary approaches in her postdoctoral fellowship, Martina’s research aims at creating new frameworks to merge farmers’ and breeders’ knowledge. In love with field work, Martina has conducted several primary data collections in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Italy.
She is continuing these efforts with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement (ILCI). Martina closely works with ILCI’s Priority Setting team to develop and implement an impact centered priority setting framework for crop improvement programs. Further, she provides research support to partner programs, and collaboratively develops and adapts priority setting tools and methods tailored for National Agricultural Research Institutions in ILCI target countries.