Our Research Experts


Breeding and Scaling Improved Varieties of dryland cereals and pulses

The Breeding Team develop new crop varieties that offer higher, and better-quality yields through improved tolerance and resistance to diseases, insect pests, drought, heat, cold, parasitic weeds, and other stress factors. ICARDA’s climate-smart crops are developed alongside National Agricultural Research Systems country partners and follow CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform guidelines.

Breeding and Scaling Improved Varieties of dryland cereals and pulses

Michael Baum

Acting - Deputy Director General for Research/Research Team Leader - Breeding and Scaling Improved Varieties of dryland cereals and pulses / Morocco Research Platform Manager

Shiv Kumar Agrawal

Head of the Food Legume Research Platform (FLRP) of ICARDA and Regional Coordinator of the ICARDA South Asia and China Regional Program

Hicham Chao

Project Monitoring Knowledge Management Assistant

Hafssa Kabbaj

Research Associate – Genomic Selection of Durum Wheat


The GRS Team plays a crucial global role in conservation and use of dryland genetic resources, making ICARDA a center of excellence for capacity building and technical support on all aspects related to conservation and sustainable use of dryland agro-biodiversity. Core activities include developing and applying best practices for acquisition, pre-breeding, regeneration, conservation, distribution and documentation of genetic resources. 

Genetic Resources, conservation, characterization, and use

Zakaria Kehel

Research Team Leader - Genetic Resources, conservation, characterization, and use (GRS)

Seed Systems, International Nurseries and Seed Health

The SINH aims at developing a functional pluralistic and inclusive seed system operating across ‘open-borders’ for easy movement of varieties and seeds. It is involved in diverse and broad range of activities that collectively addresses seed system constraints working in an integrated holistic approach with emphasis on emerging challenges in seed sector development. 


Seed systems, International Nurseries and seed Health

Zewdie Bishaw

Research Team Leader - Seed systems, International Nurseries and seed Health

Safaa Kumari

Head of ICARDA Seed Health Laboratory/Plant Virologist

Soil, Water, And agronomy

The SWA Team conducts research to build resilience and sustainably improve water productivity of rainfed and irrigated production systems in dry areas. We work to diversify and intensify these systems in the face of changing climate by combining soil health management techniques, water-saving technologies, and agronomic practices into contextualized solutions for impact at scale. 

Soil, Water and Agronomy

Rania Gamal

Senior Research Assistant - Land and Water Management

Farming with Alternative Pollinators

Farming with Alternative Pollinators (FAP) is an economically self-sustainable approach to protect pollinators in agricultural land. It builds on amelioration of agricultural land by marketable habitat enhancement plants, nesting support for wild pollinators and cross-sector policies. FAP increases productivity per surface and is scalable also in low- and middle-income countries.  

Farming with Alternative Pollinators

Resilient Agro-Silvo-Pastoral Systems

The Resilient Agro-Silvo-Pastoral Systems (RASP) team develops integrated innovation packages for livestock-based systems  in low rainfall areas to improve livelihoods and increase system resilience. The team conducts research related to small ruminant (sheep and goats) genetics, breeding, feeding and health, dryland forages, rangeland ecology and management and ecosystem restoration.

Resilient Agrosilvopastoral Systems

Barbara Ann Rischkowsky

Research Team Leader - Resilient Agrosilvopastoral Systems (RASP) and Social Economy and Policy Research (SEP)

Mourad Rekik

Principal Scientist - Small Ruminant Physiology and management

Mira Haddad

Research Associate - Spatio-temporal assessment

Social Economy and Policies

The Social, Economy and Policy (SEP) Team plays a crucial role in analyzing the adoption of ICARDA’s innovations and their impact on poverty alleviation, food security, systems resilience  and social inclusiveness. The team also works on innovative solutions for more inclusive markets and value chains, natural resource management governance, context-sensitive targeting and scaling of sustainable land and livestock management options and gender transformative approaches.

Social Economy and Policy

Barbara Ann Rischkowsky

Research Team Leader - Resilient Agrosilvopastoral Systems (RASP) and Social Economy and Policy Research (SEP)

Aymen Frija

Senior Scientist - Agricultural Economist (Economic Modeling)

Zied Idoudi

Research Associate – Economics and Participatory Methods

Dorsaf Oueslati

Senior Research Assistant - Gender Equality, Inclusion and Women's Empowerment

Geo BigData Driven Digital Augmentation for Sustainable Agro-ecosystems

The GeoAgro Team combines geoinformatics, big data, climate change modelling, mapping farming systems dynamics, and citizen science, to support and accelerate research for development for sustainable agroecosystem  solutions that ensure food, nutrition, and ecological security and better livelihoods in the dry areas.

Geo BigData Driven Digital Augmentation for Sustainable Agro-ecosystems

Capacity development UNIT

ICARDA’s Capacity Development Unit (CDU) ensures that our innovations are deployed by the communities we work with, and helps national and international organizations and farmers build the capacity to manage their goals. The CDU works alongside national ministries and local authorities, NGOs, global universities, National Agricultural Research Systems, and the private sector. 

Capacity Development

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) platform facilitates faster and more informed decision-making for organizations. Designed for input, archiving, extraction, and sharing of a broad range of data, knowledge, and ideas MEL helps stakeholders to plan, manage, monitor, evaluate, report, and share activities and results. 

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Enrico Bonaiuti

Research Team Leader - Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning and CIP-Program Management Officer