Our Team

Across the spectrum of activities, we engage world-class researchers to harness the extra-ordinary potential of natural genetic variation to meet the challenges of modern agriculture. From genetics, genomics and breeding with Professor and Project Director Professor Douglas Cook at the University of California Davis, to computational biology and modeling with Professor Sergey Nuzhdin at the University of Southern California, to agro-ecology and statistical analysis with Professor Eric von Wettberg at Florida International University, to the physiology of drought stress with Dr. Vincent Vadez at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropic in India, to germplasm curation and pre-breeding with Professor Abdullah Kahraman at Harran University in Turkey, and breeding, genetics and variety assessment with Dr. Asnake Fikre of the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research and Dr. Kassahun Tesfaye of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. More broadly, we engage many of the world’s top chickpea scientists through collaborative efforts involving private foundations and national programs in a range of countries and through a variety of funding mechanisms.


Among the lasting legacies of the Chickpea Innovation Laboratory will be the scientists that we train, and the degree to which they impact research agendas and train a future generation of scientists. In Ethiopia we train six PhD students and one masters student on topics including drought and heat resistance, nitrogen fixation, plant architecture for harvesting, and resistance to major pathogens and pests. In Turkey we train one PhD student on drought tolerance. In India, we provide central training platforms in the areas of drought and heat tolerance, and pest resistance. And in the US we train students and postdocs on nitrogen fixation, drought tolerance, modeling and genomics.

Short biographies of our leadership team, scientists, post doctoral students, undergraduate students and staff are available using the links in the left navigation on this page.