Dr. Alexander Wireko Kena

Senior Lecturer

Dept: Crop and Soil Sciences
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
Faculty of Agriculture Building Complex
Room FF 22

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Research Areas/Interests

Pangenome-enabled breeding High-Throughput phenotyping using AI-based imagery tools Open-source software development for agricultural researchers ...~more

My full CV


Dr. Alexander Kena is a Trait Discovery Scientist and Molecular Geneticist with expertise in genetic dissection of quantitative traits, pangenome-enabled breeding and open-source software development. He co-manages the Trait Discovery Objective Area of Inquiry of the Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement funded by USAID. He is the Project Integration Lead on a BMGF project for sorghum improvement and has tremendous experience working with a multidisciplinary team of researchers on another BMGF project for high-throughput phenotyping using computer vision models. He works with an active network of sorghum breeding programs in African National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems (NARES) and universities.

He envisions an Africa with a high quality of life for its people, where there is zero hunger and malnutrition. In contributing to this vision, he leverages existing technologies and innovates new tools to improve crop performance in a sustainable manner for climate resilience and higher productivity. His research utilizes goal-directed and hypothesis-driven approaches to make significant contributions to knowledge.

He has worked as a Research Scholar in the Crop Adaptation Lab in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA. He has undergone a professional development and training program in plant breeding offered by the University of California, Davis, and graduated from the African Plant Breeding Academy.

In addition to his primary expertise in breeding and genetics, he is actively involved in open source software development using R programming to make user-friendly and accessible software to agricultural researchers to drive genetic gain.

He teaches graduate and undergraduate-level courses in classical and molecular genetics, plant breeding, and statistics. He works closely with other breeding programs that seek to develop climate-smart varieties in maize, cowpea, millet, groundnut, and rice.

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