Damaris Odeny is a plant molecular breeder with global research experience cutting across Africa, Asia, Europe and USA. She has led and implemented genomics projects in both cereals and legumes, including the development of genomic resources in several orphan crops. Damaris works closely with other disciplines from national, private and international institutes to develop cutting edge genomic resources for all ICRISAT mandate crops (sorghum, pearl and finger millet, groundnut, chickpea and pigeonpea) in her current role. Prior to this, she worked as a senior researcher at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), South Africa, where she played a key role in establishing molecular breeding processes for indigenous vegetables. Damaris is also passionate about mentoring of young upcoming scientists and has successfully mentored more than fifty scientists in her career to date.
Damaris earned her PhD in Plant Genetics (2006) from the University of Bonn (Germany) and completed a post-doctoral training from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in 2009 in Cologne, Germany.
Areas of expertise: Qualitative and quantitative genetics; Genetic mapping; Pre-breeding; Plant genetic engineering; Mutation breeding; Statistical genomics; High throughput genotyping and marker development; Next Generation Sequencing and data analysis; Transcriptome analysis; Metagenomics.