Opening desert’s doors

The Center for Desert Agriculture (CDA) announces its 2021 OPEN HOUSE and other Research Open Week activities


As part of the KAUST Research Open Week (KROW), all members of the KAUST community are invited to visit the CDA’s laboratories and get an overview of the research conducted at the center. Come see our scientists in action and discover the CDA’s impact on food production and quality, sustainability, and the health sector – both in the region and globally.


Register now for a 30-minute session full of scientific demonstrations, an exciting DNA extraction workshop, and more. The tour is followed by a Kahoot quiz to win exciting prizes!

Spread the word and win even more prizes when also tweeting a photo or video during the tour, using the #KAUSTresearch hashtag.



Thursday, December 2, 2021

2:00 – 4:00 P.M.

Registration deadline: Saturday, November 27 at 5:00 P.M.



Building 2 – level 3 – sea side


There are several stops on the tour, representing the CDA’s 10 research groups.

We are looking forward to showing you around our research facilities!


Since KROW dedicated the third day of their open week to "Environment" and the fifth day to “Food & Health”, the CDA will also be represented at several other Research Open Week activities around campus.


  • Scientific Demos

Walk through the exhibition of scientific demos showcasing KAUST’s efforts toward "Sustainability: Science for the Future" and visit Professor Ikram Blilou's booth on "Date palms: new research to boost global date fruit production."

When? Sunday, November 28 – Thursday, December 2, 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Where? Building 19 – level 3

  • Science on the Spine

Here we will offer the next generation of budding scientists an opportunity to participate in a variety of science experiments.

When? Thursday, December 2, 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Where? On the Spine, in front of the University Library


  • Scientific Talks

-       Juan Camilo Moreno Beltran, Research Scientist in Professor Salim Al-Babili's The BioActives Lab, will talk about "Single gene bioengineering as starting point to produce a new generation of super crops with enhanced photosynthetic efficiency, stress tolerance, plant yield, and nutritional content."

When? Tuesday, November 30, 10:00 – 10:20 A.M.

Where? Auditorium between building 4 & 5

-       Maged Saad, Senior Research Scientist in Professor Heribert Hirt’s Darwin 21 lab, will talk about “Desert rhizosphere microbes for sustainable SMART agriculture.”

When? Thursday, December 2, 10:20 – 10:40 A.M.

Where? Auditorium between building 4 & 5

-       Professor Mark Tester, Associate Center Director of the CDA, will talk about “Salt-tolerant plants for saltwater agriculture.”

When? Thursday, December 2, 4:30 – 5:00 P.M.

Where? Auditorium building 20

-       Professor Rod Wing, Center Director of the CDA, will talk about “The Center for Desert Agriculture - Finding ways to feed the world without destroying our planet!”

When? Thursday, December 2, 5:00 – 5:30 P.M.

Where? Auditorium building 20


  • Poster Session

Several CDA members will be presenting their posters here. This is a great opportunity to learn about the excellent work performed in the CDA and network with fellow researchers.

-       Who? Amal Alghamdi, Anamika Rawat, Anna Siodmak, Clara Stanschewski, Elodie Rey, Fatimah Abdulhakim, Nahed Mohammed, and Nathaly Rodriguez Ortiz

When? Thursday, December 2, 12:00 – 1:00 P.M.

Where? University Library

-       Who? Itzell Hernandezsanchez Sanchez and Khairiah Alwutayd

When? Tuesday, November 30, 12:00 – 1:00 P.M.

Where? University Library


Don't forget to stop by!



Rod Wing

Director, Center for Desert Agriculture

Event Quick Information

28 Nov – 02 Dec 2021
10:00 AM – 17:30 PM
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)