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Ram Nair

Global Plant Breeder – Legumes

South Asia/Central Asia

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BS in Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University; MS in Agriculture with a specialization in plant breeding and genetics, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University; PhD, Kerala Agricultural University

Research interests

Genetic analysis of productivity, breeding systems for plants, pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, polyploidy breeding


As a Legume Breeder, Ram helps the Center fulfill its global mandate to work on mungbean, vegetable soybean, vegetable cowpea and yard-long bean. He also serves as the Regional Secretary (India) for the Society for Advancement of Breeding Research in Asia and Oceania (SABRAO) and is a member of the Editorial Board for the SABRAO Journal of Breeding and Genetics.

Ram began his career in 1986 as an Agricultural Officer (Extension) in the Department of Agriculture, Government of Kerala in India.

He spent ten years as a forage breeder at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) in Adelaide and for four years at the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria. There he researched a range of plant species including Medicago, Trifolium, Trigonella, Melilotus and Lolium. He completed a Professional Management Program from the School of Business, University of Adelaide in 2010.

In addition to the development of improved varieties, Ram has published 30 journal articles, 38 conference papers and four book chapters on topics including breeding systems for plants, aphid resistance in Medicago truncatula (a model legume species), herbicide tolerance and polyploidy breeding.

Ram won the AW Howard Memorial Travel grant in 2006, the SARDI Achievement Award for Breakthrough Innovation of the Year (2008), and the SARDI Achievement Award for Best Publication of the Year (2009).