Dr. Gizaw Desta Gessesse is a land and water management engineer by training and earned his PhD from University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria in 2009. He started his research career in 1996 in the areas of soil and water conservation, soil erosion, hydrology, and irrigation agronomy. He has been working on systems-based landscape management innovations including sustainable water and land management, land restoration, soil and water conservation, landscape management practices and approaches, and soil fertility and soil health during the last 25 years. Also skilled in watershed experimentation, scenario planning methods, tools for integrated and resilience system analysis, erosion modeling, and multi-disciplinary teamwork. Currently, his research focus is farm and landscape restoration practices through community led approaches in the humid and drylands, landscape soil health management and agronomy, flood-based farming, and agricultural intensification.
His recent experience in the drylands provides him with new challenges associated with the nexus of land degradation, drought, and flood risks that require integrated solutions involving integrated landscape approaches. He has published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers, several book chapters, briefs, blogs, databases, and manuals. He has supported numerous post-graduate students in advanced soil and water conservation, watershed management, and agronomy courses, and supervised MSc and PhD candidates. Having worked within the national agricultural research system, universities, and think thank centers, he has a vast professional network within academia, the R&D partners, funding organizations, and policy arenas. Currently, he is a senior scientist in landscape management and cluster lead.