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Olivier J. Walther is an Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of Florida and the coordinator of the African Networks Lab. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. His current research focuses on cross-border trade and transnational political violence in West Africa.  Dr. Walther is the Africa Editor of the Journal of Borderlands Studies, a “chief” of the African Borderlands Research Network and on the advisory board of the African Governance and Space project.  Email:  

Matthew Pflaum is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography at the University of Florida. He holds an MSc in African Studies & International Development from the University of Edinburgh and an MPH in Global Health/infectious Disease from Emory University. He is interested in mobility and violence in West Africa and the factors contributing to joining militias and extremist organizations. The focus of his work is on pastoralist groups and the tensions that arise with other groups and governments over resources, land, governance, mobility, and power. Email:  

Valerie C. Valerio is a Ph.D. Candidate in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on using data and simulation models of value chains to study livestock production, distribution and consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa. Valerie has recently worked in mapping livestock trade networks in West Africa. She holds a BSc in Industrial Engineering from the Santo Domingo Institute of Technology (Dominican Republic). E-mail:  


Steven M. Radil is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Geosciences at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Radil is a political geographer and primarily researches the spatial dimensions of political violence in the international system, including civil war, insurgency, and terrorism. In Africa, he has previously published on the diffusion of the internationalized civil war in the Democratic Republic on the Congo and on the territorial ambitions of Islamist-inspired insurgencies. He has methodological expertise in spatial analysis, social network analysis, and Geographic Information Science and routinely uses these tools in his work. Email:

David G. Russell is an independent researcher of political geography. He holds a MSc in Geography from the University of Idaho. His research has focused on quantifying the spatio-temporal patterns of political violence. Mr. Russell has conducted research at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. He currently works as a consultant to the OECD/SWAC, and as a research analyst at Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative, supporting local community resilience by tracking political violence in the United States. He also performed GIS analysis for the University of Florida in conjunction with the Ghana Land Use Project. Email:

Moustapha Koné is an Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of Niamey, Niger. His research focuses on cross-border trade in West Africa and the role of business communities in border regions. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Bordeaux. Dr. Koné has worked as a consultant for the Stanford University’s Immigration Policy Lab. Email:

Rafael Prieto Curiel is a postdoctoral researcher at University College London (UCL). He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from UCL and worked at Oxford University and for the Police Department in Mexico City modelling spatio-temporal patterns of crime and road accidents. His research has focused on constructing quantitative models of social aspects such as crime, fear of crime, violence, migration and terrorism. Email:

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