Dr Sean Mayes
Dr Sean Mayes
Global Research Program - Accelerated Crop Improvement

Dr Sean Mayes is the Global Research Program Director for Accelerated Crop Improvement at ICRISAT. His expertise lies in genetic diversity and germplasm characterization of various crop plants, focusing on marker-assisted selection for genetic enhancement. He has been actively involved in projects on wheat, oil palm, African rice, Bambara groundnut, winged bean, foxtail and proso millets, moth bean, amaranths, quinoa, and other crops.

Before joining ICRISAT in September 2022, Dr Mayes held positions as an Associate Professor of Crop Genetics at the University of Nottingham, UK, and as a Lecturer at the same institution from 2004 to 2008. From 2013-2019 he was also Theme Director for crop genetics at the Crops for the Future Research Centre, based in Malaysia – the first global research institute dedicated to improving the uptake of underutilised crops. He also served as the Principal Investigator at the Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK, from 1999 to 2003. He pursued his post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge between 1995 and 1999 and worked with Plant Breeding International, Cambridge, as a registered PhD student affiliated with the Open University from 1989 to 1995.

Dr Mayes plays a pivotal role in ICRISAT’s research endeavors to transform the existing agricultural paradigm by expanding the variety of crops available to farmers globally, enhancing both agricultural sustainability and human nutrition.

As the Global Research Program Director at ICRISAT, Dr Mayes leads initiatives structured around promoting the use of resilient crops and sustainable agricultural systems; these projects aim to reduce farmer poverty, enhance population nutrition, and create value chains essential for sustainable agriculture.