Jesse Poland

Professor, Plant Science

Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division
Center membership : 
Center for Desert Agriculture


Education Profile

  • Ph.D., 2010 - Cornell University, Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • M.S., 2004 - Kansas State University, Plant Pathology
  • B.S., 2003 - Kansas State University, Agronomy

Research Interests

Poland's group at KAUST focuses on the formidable questions of how to develop climate resilient crops to address the grand challenges of food security in the coming generations. Poland leads work on important crops including wheat and date palm to better understand the dynamic plant genomes and increasing genetic gain in crop breeding. Looking at the grand challenges facing agriculture, the lab also focuses on species with extreme stress tolerance such as saltgrass (Distichlis spp.) that can grow in salinity at the level of seawater. Neodomestication, breeding, and cultivation of such species could provide a trajectory change for agriculture in the face of hotter climates and rapidly shrinking water reserves.

Selected Publications