Helen Greatrex

Helen Greatrex

Email: 
Phone: 
814-865-3433
Office Address: 
211 Walker Building
Title: 
Assistant Professor of Geography and Statistics
Unit: 
Department of Geography

PDF icon Curriculum Vitae (82.11 KB)
Expertise: 
  • weather risk management
  • geostatistics
  • uncertainty estimation
  • historical weather analysis
  • satellite rainfall estimation
  • index insurance
  • agricultural modeling
  • social equity

Hello!  I'm an assistant professor in Remote Sensing and Geo-statistics, co-hired between the departments of Geography and Statistics.  My research focuses on how rainfall is measured and used for decision-making—moving from hazard, through exposure and vulnerability to impact.

Examples include:

  • Researching how satellite rainfall estimates can be used to reduce basis risk and design agricultural index insurance contracts across sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Developing qualitative research tools to understand the social equity implications of agricultural insurance and its impact on gender dynamics.

  • Creating tailored validation metrics and spatially correlated ensemble estimates of uncertainty for satellite rainfall estimates.

  • Working with the humanitarian sector to understand how tailored weather information can be better used to trigger action and prevent disasters in Somalia, across both Forecast Based Finance, early action and insurance.

  • Understanding how rainfall impacts a variety of other topics, from the disease hydrocephalus in Uganda and Vietnam, to pollinators across the world.

Much of my work focuses within sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Senegal, East Africa, Malawi and Zamia), Latin America (Ecuador) and Asia (Vietnam).  I also work closely with insurers, reinsurers, agricultural companies, policy makers, NGOs (charities), businesses and other scientists, and very much enjoy bridging the gaps between the different groups.