Damaris Achieng Odeny

Global Cluster Leader
Genomics, Pre-breeding and Bioinformatics, ICRISAT

Dr. Damaris is a plant geneticist from Kenya and currently works at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) office in Nairobi. As a child, Damaris saw how her father, a sugarcane grower, struggled with losing crops to drought and disease. This experience motivated Damaris to look for solutions. After gaining a PhD in plant genetics from the University of Bonn and carrying out research at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (Germany) and at the Agricultural Research Council (South Africa), Damaris is now leading a finger millet pre-breeding project. The project aims to re-introduce genetic diversity from wild relatives into the cultivated crop with the goal of improving finger millet’s resistance to environmental stresses like pests and diseases.