Karim Ammar

Head of both durum wheat & triticale breeding at CIMMYT

Karim Ammar is a graduate of the “Institut National Agronomique de Tunis” (INAT) where he obtained his “Diplomed’Ingenieur Agronome, en Phytotechnie” in 1987. He went on to obtain an M.Sc. in Crop Science from Oregon State University in 1991 and then a Ph.D. in Genetics from the same University in 1999. After a brief Post-Doc at the USDA-ARS in Corvallis-Oregon, he re-integrated Oregon State University as an Associate Professor, winter durum wheat breeder. In 2001, he became a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then Associate Scientist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, first working in bread wheat breeding, then as head of the hybrid wheat program, then as head of the triticale program. Since 2005, he is the head of both durum wheat & triticale breeding at CIMMYT, now holding the title of Principal Scientist, being responsible for conducting an aggressive and proactive breeding effort to develop germplasm with high relevance to National Programs worldwide. In parallel to his breeding activities, Karim is interested in conducting research in the areas of genetic resistance to rusts and Septoria in order to understand the genetics underlying these resistances and obtain molecular markers useful in breeding programs. He is also conducting research to diversify the genetic basis of quality traits in durum wheat. Finally, he is involved in several research projects looking at durum wheat’s tolerance to drought and heat.