Sobhana Sivasankar, PhD


Sobhana (Shoba) Sivasankar has 20+ years’ experience leading and managing agricultural R&D programs. She is currently the Section Head for Plant Breeding and Genetics at the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Applications in Food and Agriculture at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. Prior to this role, she was Director for two CGIAR Research Programs, on Dryland Cereals and on Grain Legumes, and successfully led the design and development of the merger of the two in the current GLDC program. Before this she led the development and coordination of the transgenic pipeline for agronomic traits from discovery research to early product development for DuPont Pioneer, now Corteva, in Iowa. During her career at DuPont Pioneer, she worked in the technical areas of stress physiology and silage digestibility and provided scientific leadership for the development of DuPont’s FASTcorn high-throughput phenotyping platform.

Born in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Shoba earned her undergraduate and Masters’ degrees in agricultural sciences and agronomy from Kerala Agricultural University. She has a PhD in Botany from the University of Guelph, Canada, and MBA from the University of Iowa. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the same university in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.

Shoba has over 20 issued patents and 109 published patent applications, and several peer-reviewed publications.