Director

Rod A. Wing

Director of the Center for Desert Agriculture | Professor of Plant Science | Principal Investigator of the Wing Lab

Research Interests: genetics, genomics, evolutionary biology of crop plants and their wild relatives

Associate Director

Mark Tester

Associate Director of the Center for Desert Agriculture | Professor of Plant Science | Principal Investigator of the Salt Lab

Research Interests: salinity tolerance, ion transport, sustainable food production systems

Faculty

Brande Wulff

Associate Professor of Plant Science | Principal Investigator of The Wulff Lab

Research Interests: wheat, wild wheat relatives, wild wheats, wheat rust, genomics, bioinformatics, resistance genes, gene cloning, GWAS, GM crops

Heribert Hirt

Professor of Plant Science | Principal Investigator of the Darwin21 Lab

Ikram Blilou

Professor of Plant Science | Principal Investigator of the Laboratory of Plant Cell and Developmental Biology (LPCDB)

Jesse Poland

Professor of Plant Science | Principal Investigator of the Plant Breeding and Genetics Lab

Magdy M. Mahfouz

Associate Professor of Bioengineering, Bioscience, and Plant Science | Principal Investigator of the Laboratory for Genome Engineering and Synthetic Biology

Monika Chodasiewicz

Assistant Professor of Plant Science | Principal Investigator of the Stress Granule Lab

Salim Al-Babili

Professor of Plant Science and Bioengineering | Principal Investigator of the BioActives Lab

Research Interests: plant metabolic engineering, plant hormones, carotenoids and apocarotenoids, root parasitic plants, plant biotic interactions, small molecules, plant growth regulators

Simon Krattinger

Assistant Professor of Plant Science | Principal Investigator of the Cereal Genetics and Genomics Lab

Research Interests: cereal crops, genomics, plant-pathogen interactions, quantitative genetics

Center Operations Team

Andrea B. M. Hulsbosch

Communication Specialist

Anna Rautek

Center Manager

Christopher Clarke

Senior Project Manager

Dalia Alshahrani

Project Coordinator

Emma Waller

Design Specialist

Ibrahim Malas

Project Manager

Jennifer Wing

Scientific Editor

Luis Fernando Rivera Serna

Senior Bioinformatics Engineer

Research Interests: bioinformatics, omics tools, machine learning, biological db, HPC

Maureen Clarke

Admin and Travel Coordinator

Melanie Balkner Zielke

Executive Assistant

Osayil Bahir Skinner

Business and Marketing Coordinator

Randah M. Aleisawi

Project Coordinator

Robyn Palescandolo

Botanical Art and Graphic Design Specialist

Sadaf Umer

Lab Manager

Research Interests: occupational health

Suja Muralidharan

Administrative Assistant

Sumaira Haque

Administrative Assistant

Yanjun Guo

IT Operations Assistant

Research Interests: IT software, IT hardware

Research Scientists

Andrea Zuccolo

Research Scientist

Research Interests: plant comparative genomics, bioinformatics, transposable elements, directed evolution, genome sequencing

Haroon Butt

Research Scientist

Research Interests: genome engineering, directed evolution, RNA splicing

Juan Camilo Moreno Beltran

Research Scientist

Research Interests: carotenoids, apocarotenoids, plant hormones, photosynthesis, receptors, signaling molecules, beta carotene

Maged Saad

Senior Research Scientist

Research Interests: personalized desert agriculture, microbial breeding, biostimulants, microbial genetic and bacterial evaluation

Mirko Celii

Research Scientist

Muhammad Jamil

Research Scientist

Research Interests: plant physiology, agronomy, weed biology and ecology, plant signalling and parasite-interactions

Naganand Rayapuram

Research Scientist

Research Interests: plant-microbe interactions, signal transduction, MAPK signaling, plant stress biology

Vanessa Melino

Research Scientist

Research Interests: plant physiology, plant nutrition, salinity tolerance, root architecture, ion transport, nitrogen use efficiency

Zahir Ali

Research Scientist

Research Interests: CRISPR/Cas system, plant genome engineering, virus resistance, synthetic biology

Research Staff

Aala Abdulaziz Abulfaraj

Research Consultant

Abrar Deek

Lab Support

Research Interests: desert agriculture research projects

Allison Rebecca Taylor

Lab Technician

Aparna Balakrishna

Research Specialist

Research Interests: carotenoids, carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase, apocarotenoids ccd, gene expression, enzymatic activity

Ashley Bryce Pursglove

Research Specialist

Bhagya Lakshmi Girjia

Lab Support Technician

Research Interests: women's health, cardiovascular & neuro physiology

Catherine Helen Gardener

Research Specialist

Chakravarthy Rajan

Research Specialist

Research Interests: plant molecular biology, plant secondary metabolites, cell culture and tissue culture, plant transformation studies

Chia-Yi Hu

Laboratory Assistant

Daniela Strnadova

Lab Assistant

Guotai Yu

Research Specialist

Hanna Mohsen Alhoraibi

Research Consultant

Hayam Abdelhafez

Greenhouse Assistant

Hongwei Ren

Greenhouse Technician

Research Interests: salinity tolerance, tomato

Kit Xi Liew

Research Specialist

Krishnaveni Sanikommu

Lab Technician

Lamis Berqdar

Research Assistant

Research Interests: plant science, molecular biology and data analysis

Lingli Zou

Greenhouse Support

Mara Miculan

Research Specialist

Research Interests: plant genomics, transposable elements, quantitative genetics, evolutionary biology, population genomics

Maryamah Mohammad Wani

Greenhouse Assistant

Nataliya Kovalchuk

Technical Specialist

Noha Omar Saber

Research Specialist

Research Interests: molecular biology, salinity tolerance

Norhan Hassan

Research Specialist

Nouf Owdah Alshareef

Research Consultant

Olga Artyukh

Laboratory Technician

Rameesha M Parambil

Greenhouse Technician

Rebekah Elizabeth Waller

Agricultural Specialist

Rewaa Sauod Jalal

Research Consultant

Saad Hammad

Greenhouse Assistant

Sabiha Parween

Consultant

Safya Zaoui

Lab Technician

Sangeetha Sampathkumar

Lab Technician

Seonim Baek

Inventory Assistant

Shuming Yan

Lab Technician

Sunitha Kanagaraj

Molecular Biology Lab Technician

Trang Dinh

Lab Support

Uzeyle Elcik

Lab Technician

Yanjun Wei

Lab Technician

Yao Wu

Lab Support

Yasha Zhang

Research Assistant

Research Interests: marine ecology, materials modeling

Postdoctoral Fellows

Abdul Aziz Eida

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, DARWIN21, desert bacteria, endophytes

Alice Fornasiero

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: plant genomics, population genetics, ancient DNA, bioinformatics, genome assembly, conservation, rice

Arsheed H. Sheikh

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: plant immunity, epitranscriptome, epigenetics, plant signalling

Ashraf Kibriya

Postdoctoral Fellow

Claudia Yveline Pailles Galvez

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dongryung Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: salinity tolerance

Elodie Rey

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: crops, genomics, transcriptomics, polyploidy, domestication, stress resilience

Eric Jian You Wang

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: zaxionone, strigolactones, metabolomics, analytical chemistry

Gwendolyn Kirschner

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: root development, BIRD proteins, rice, microscopy

Hendrik (Nico) Kuijer

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: rice, pearl millet, cereal transformation, gene assisted transformation, zaxionone

Himanshu Vishwas Patankar

Postdoctoral Fellow

Israel Maruri Lopez

Postdoctoral Fellow

Itzell Euridice Hernandez Sanchez

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), stress granules (SGs)

Katja Froehlich

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: plant-microbe interactions, plant stress tolerance, plant microbiome

Khalid Sedeek

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: plant genome engineering, crop improvement

Kirti Shekhawat

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lamia Aouini

Postdoctoral Fellow

Laxman Adhikari

Postdoctoral Fellow

Maria Fernanda Nava Ocampo

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: water sustainability

Michael Abrouk

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: bioinformatics, plant genetics, sequencing, comparative analysis, evolution

Nahed Mohammed

Postdoctoral Fellow

Naheed Tabassum

Postdoctoral Fellow

Naveenkumar Athiyannan

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: disease resistance, cereal genetics and genomics, plant-pathogen interactions, rust pathology

Nicolas E. Figueroa Fuentealba

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: plant molecular biology, plant physiology, stress granules, phytohormones

Noor Al-Bader

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: bioinformatics, platinum-standard RefSeq genomes, genome annotation, ontologies, expression analysis

Paula Oyarce Sgro

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: metabolomics, abiotic stress, cell wall analysis, molecular biology

Rabeaa Alkhateeb

Postdoctoral Fellow

Rashid Aman

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: synthetic biology, plant tissue culture (tobacco and rice), virus based plant genome engineering

Shanshan Song

Postdoctoral Fellow

Shyam Gundu

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: root development, developmental biology, genetics, cell biology and molecular biology

Sivakrishna Gundra

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: CRISPR/Cas, directed evolution, crop improvement

Tingting Xiao

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: date palm development, immunocytochemistry, molecular biology, genetics

Urooj Fatima

Postdoctoral Fellow

Wouter Smet

Postdoctoral Fellow

Xiongjie Zheng

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: apocarotenoids, carotenoids, genetics, metabolic engineering

Yağız Alagöz

Postdoctoral Fellow

Yajun Wang

Postdoctoral Fellow

Yong Zhou

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: rice, variants, genes, evolution

PhD Students

Aaron Pantoja Angles

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: synthetic biology, CRISPR

Abdugaffor Ablazov

PhD Student

Research Interests: plant molecular biology, reverse genetics, CRISPR/Cas, apocarotenoids, zaxionone

Abdulrahman Alhabsi

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: molecular biology, genome engineering

Abrar Felemban

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: apocarotenoids, botryis cinerea, CRISPR/Cas

Ahad Kababji

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: genome engineering, synthetic biology

Ahmed Ghouneimy

Master/PhD Student

Alice Stra

PhD Student

Amal Alghamdi

PhD Student

Andrea Gonzalez Munoz

PhD Student

Research Interests: wild wheats, plant disease resistance, genomics, bioinformatics, population genomics

Anna Siodmak

PhD Student

Research Interests: plant science, plant-pathogen interactions, reactive oxygen signalling, MAPK signaling, translation, ribosomes

Aseel Alsantely

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: bioinformatics, genome sequencing, gene annotation

Baoda Han

PhD Student

Clara S. Stanschewski

PhD Student

Research Interests: plant genetics, plant phenotyping, genome-wide association studies, genotype x environment interactions

Duruo Mao

Master/PhD Student

Edith Sanchez Hernandez

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: genome engineering, CRISPR/Cas, genome editing, food security

Fareena Rafique

Master/PhD Student

Fatema Alquraish

PhD Student

Research Interests: biomolecular condensates, stress granules (SGs), processing bodies, plant stress response

Fatimah Abdulhakim

Master/PhD Student

Fatimah Aljedaani

PhD Student

Guan-Ting Chen

Master/PhD Student

Hanin Ahmed

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: crop domestication, bioinformatics, genomics, population genetics, plant biology and desert agriculture

Izamar Olivas Orduna

Master/PhD Student

Joaquin Villarreal Barragan

Master/PhD Student

Juan Pablo Arciniegas Vega

Master/PhD Student

Justine Braguy

PhD Student

Research Interests: plant biology, strigolactones, synthetic biology

Leonardo Fabbian

PhD Student

Linah Alghanmi

PhD Student

Louai Alidrissi

PhD Student

Mitchell Ritzinger

PhD Student

Mohammed Shahid Chaudhary

PhD Student

Research Interests: viral vectors, bio-production, synthetic biology

Nathaly Rodriguez Ortiz

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: tomato, salinity tolerance, grafting, polyploidy

Nicola Secco

PhD Student

Pei-Yu Lin

PhD Student

Research Interests: abc transporter, apocarotenoids, SLs

Pepijn Bais

PhD Student

Prabhu Manickam

PhD Student

Research Interests: plant genetics, plant signalling and plant biochemistry

Qiaochu Wang

Master/PhD Student

Radwa Kamel

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: molecular biology, genome engineering

Randa Zarban

PhD student

Research Interests: plant molecular biology, protein interaction, strigolactones, striga hermonthica germination inhibition

Senzeni Ndlovu

PhD Student

Somiya Saferuddin

Master/PhD Student

Tin Marsic

PhD Student

Research Interests: genome engineering, synthetic biology

Vinicius Lube

PhD Student

Research Interests: root system architecture, live imaging, phenomics

Violeta Londono Velez

Master/PhD Student

Research Interests: stress granules, composition, proteomics

Wenjun Jiang

PhD Student

Research Interests: genome editing, CRISPR

Wiam Alsharif

Master/PhD Student

Yang Zhang

PhD Student

Yu Yang

PhD Student

Research Interests: marine ecology, materials modeling

Master Students

Alamin Bantan

Master Student

Angel Morris

Master Student

Ayman Farran

Master Student

Gabriel Xicoténcatl García Ramírez

Master Student

Research Interests: microbiome symbiosis, plant immunity, plant nutrition

Gadah Alamri

Master Student

Ibrahim Tarbiyyah

Visiting Student

Jing Lu

Student

Jose Luis Moreno Ramirez

Master Student

Research Interests: genome editing, CRISPR, crop improvement

Lamyaa Almarwaey

Master Student

Majed Alghamdi

Master Student

Paula Mor Llombart

Visiting Student

Raghad Shuwaikan

Master student

Tatiana Castillo Hernández

Master Student

Research Interests: developmental biology, gene-editing technology, molecular biology

Waad Alzaed

Master Student

Alumni

Auwalu Abdu

Alumnus