Muluken Demelie Alemu is from Debre Markos, northwest Ethiopia. He holds a bachelor’s of science in Crop Production and Protection and a master’s of science in Horticulture, both from Haramaya University. Muluken has taught and conducted research at the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research respectively.
Today, Muluken is a PhD student in Field and Vegetable Crops at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment. His research aims to establish the basis for developing drought-tolerant, high-yielding tef varieties. Tef is a cereal crop, a major commodity in Ethiopia. To this end, he is growing a large collection of tef genotypes with differing amounts of water, currently in Israel and subsequently in Ethiopia. Muluken will collect and analyze morphological, phenological, and physiological data, as well as conduct DNA analysis to identify drought-tolerant tef genotypes and characterize the mechanisms underlying their superior performance.
“By developing drought-tolerant tef varieties, we will be able to enhance and sustain tef production and productivity. This will help to improve food security, nutrition, and income, especially for those living in drought-prone regions of Ethiopia and worldwide.”