R. Geigy Foundation-Award 2002,
Country: Switzerland, born: 1970
"Field research requires a great deal of creativity and spontaneity. I was impressed by the fact that good, sustainable results can often be obtained with simple methods and in close cooperation with the people. Highly technological solutions are not always needed."
N'Dama cattle are like savings accounts. They are dissolved to cope with the vicissitudes of life and to meet sudden needs for cash, like paying for weddings, burials or hospital treatment. This function lends the animal great economic importance. In collaboration with local partners, Lea Knopf was the first person to concern herself with the health of N'Dama cattle in central Côte d'Ivoire. She developed a new and gentle method for measuring the degree of tick infestation of the cattle and, therefore, for determining the animal's health status. An important finding concerns the fluctuations in the number of parasites and stages within one year due to climate. This knowledge is important for applying physical and chemical methods of control as selectively as possible when necessary. After her stay in West Africa, the veterinary-epidemiologist Knopf held several position to improve the health of humans and animals. Today, she is director of the Institutional Relations and Networks of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control.