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DivSeek International Network Inc.

October 24, 2019

DivSeek International engages new executives to foster networking amongst crop geneticists 

SASKATOON, SK – The DivSeek International Network Inc. (DivSeek International), a global, community-driven initiative created to harness the genetic potential of crop diversity using science and technology, is pleased to announce the hiring of Lee Anne Murphy (PhD, PAg) as Managing Director and Katayoon Navabi (PhD) as Program Director.

DivSeek International, a not-for-profit organization, fosters the sharing of data and information related to plant genetic resources for accelerated crop improvement, strategic research and the sustainable production of food and agricultural products around the world.

DivSeek International is funded by Genome Canada, Genome Prairie and the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan. The organization currently has 67 member institutions representing 28 countries and has established a Secretariat in Saskatoon hosted by GIFS.

“Hiring Murphy and Navabi marks an important milestone in the evolution of DivSeek International as an organization and will advance our support for networking and capacity-building amongst scientific researchers around the world,” said Chair of DivSeek International Board of Directors Susan McCouch.

Both Murphy and Navabi have broad, complementary skills in project management and international outreach, as well as technical expertise and experience in crop science and technology.

Murphy led the development of a networking hub for advancing research, development and commercialization of ‘foods for health’ that included interdisciplinary scientists, international project teams, grower groups and industrial partners. She will be based in Winnipeg, Manitoba and her experience with managing not-for-profit organizations will help DivSeek International advance its mission.

Navabi is a plant breeder by training with experience in academia, government and the private sector. Her skills in field breeding and genomic technologies, industry experience and commitment to research will be invaluable to DivSeek International. Navabi will be based out of the Saskatoon Secretariat.

The pair will play key roles in supporting DivSeek International working groups, meetings and its annual roundtable event—where members and observers meet to share updates about research and training activities.

Genome Prairie, one of six independent Genome Canada centres, is a non-profit organization with offices in Saskatoon and Winnipeg that develops and manages genomics and related bioscience research projects, addressing key regional priorities including agriculture, human health, the environment, energy and mining. These efforts play a central role in building the Prairie region’s reputation as a location of choice for innovation and commercialization.

GIFS is a public-private partnership established in 2012 by Nutrien (formerly PotashCorp), the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan (USask). Its mission is to help feed the world through transformative innovations in agriculture and food production that will benefit Saskatchewan’s economic, social and environmental well-being and empower other countries to achieve local food security.

For more information, please contact:

Susan R. McCouch

Chair, DivSeek International Board of Directors


Phone: (607) 255-0420

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