Professor Achim Dobermann appointed New Director of Rothamsted Research

21st Feb 2014

Rothamsted Research, which receives BBSRC strategic funding, is delighted to announce that Professor Achim Dobermann has been appointed as its new Director. He will take up his post at the longest running agricultural institute in the world on 1st June 2014.

Professor Dobermann is joining Rothamsted Research from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, where he was the Deputy Director General for Research.

Professor Dobermann is a soil scientist and agronomist with 25 years’ work experience in all world regions. He is recognized internationally as an authority on science and technology for food security and sustainable management of the world’s major cereal cropping systems. After studying for a PhD in Soil Science at the Institute of Tropical Agriculture of the University of Leipzig, Professor Dobermann joined IRRI as a soil and plant nutrition specialist in 1992. His expertise and passion for the subject quickly established him as a team leader for soil and water sciences. In 2000, he joined the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska as Associate Professor and later full Professor in Soil Science and Nutrient Management. He re-joined IRRI in 2007 to lead its largest interdisciplinary research programme, focusing on developing environmentally sustainable rice-based agricultural systems. His rapid success led him to becoming Deputy Director General for Research in 2008.

Professor Dobermann has enjoyed a long and distinguished career with numerous high impact scientific publications and is currently an editor of the Global Food Security journal. He has chaired and participated in numerous international scientific committees and expert groups and is currently a member of the Leadership Council and co-chair of the Thematic Group on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN,, a new initiative for the United Nations to support the post-2015 sustainable development process.

Working at IRRI his work has had a major impact in rice growing countries of Asia and other parts of the world. During 2009-2010 he coordinated the development of a new global program for rice research, the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP, and served as their first Director.

Professor Dobermann said “I’m excited about having this unique opportunity to help making a great research institution even better. Developing environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production will be at the core of the new global sustainable development agenda. With its top-notch science and multidisciplinary approach Rothamsted Research can play a major role in designing new solutions for enabling transformative changes in agricultural systems, nationally and internationally.”

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