Hannes Dempewolf

Graduate student (PhD) - jointed supervised with Loren Rieseberg
Topic: Domestication of Noug (Guizotia abyssinica)


Contact: handem(at)interchange.ubc.ca

My research focuses on the Ethiopian oil-seed crop Noug (english name: Niger; Guizotia abyssinica (L.f.) Cass.), which is closely related to sunflower. I am unravelling Noug's evolutionary history using a combination of genetic markers, genomic tools, and anthropological information. This will allow me to draw conclusions about the levels and partitioning of genetic variability within wild populations, landraces, and modern cultivars; identify genetic bottlenecks during domestication or improvement; track down the geographic center of domestication; and identify genes repeatedly involved in the domestication of Compositae crops.


Noug (English name: Niger; Guizotia abyssinica (L.f.) Cass.) (Photo:Biopix.dk; www.biopix.dk)

Further information on noug

My broader goals are to identify and order the various factors (human, ecological, climatic, geographical, and genetic) that have contributed to the domestication of Noug and to make recommendations about the conservation of the crop and its wild relatives. The results from my work will provide important groundwork for guiding the future genetic resource management of the crop as well as the potential utilization of the genetic material for crop improvement efforts in the context of sustainable development and global food security.

Team 'Noug' in Ethiopia


Noug Group in Ethiopia


More recently, I have started to get involved in a project on Cocoa diversity. For more information, please follow these links:

(1) UBC press release on Cocoa project

(2) Bioversity International press release on Cocoa project

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