Prof. Hirt takes over as new director of KAUST's Center for Desert Agriculture

Prof. Heribert Hirt on a recent expedition to collect desert plants in the Syrian Desert in Jordan.

Professor Heribert Hirt, formerly Associate Director of the Center for Desert Agriculture, has been appointed Director of the center. Professor Mark Tester has taken over the role of Associate Director with his responsibilities focusing on desert agriculture and translational research.

Prof. Hirt and Prof. Tester will build upon the foundation for cross-disciplinary research and the high scientific standards set by Dr. Nina Fedoroff, now Professor Emerita, who served as the CDA Director between 2012 and 2014.

These appointments reflect the dual mission of the Center for Desert Agriculture, which is to both promote basic research in plant sciences and develop translational projects relevant to desert agriculture.

In addition to these two appointments, Dr. Salim Al-Babili will chair the newly created Plant Sciences program. This new program will distinguish itself by its focus on arid and harsh environments and the outstanding faculty working in this research area in the BSE Division.

-By Michelle Ponto, KAUST News

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