Vavilov-Frankel Fellowship

The Vavilov-Frankel Fellowship enables outstanding scientists from developing countries to carry out research on the conservation and use of agricultural and forest biodiversity. The research involves collaboration with an academic institution outside of the fellows’ home countries. To date, 41 scientists from 25 countries from all regions of the world have received the Fellowship.

Many studies have focused on crops and species of significant economic, nutritional and cultural importance to the Fellows' home countries; examples include wild and domesticated populations of cactus, ebony, pistachio, cacao, common vetch, peach, oat, wild potato, Grewia optiva, sorghum, fluted pumpkin, oriental beech, emmer wheat and barley.

A History of the Vavilov-Frankel Fellowship

Bioversity International established the Vavilov-Frankel Fellowship in 1989 to commemorate the unique and pioneering contributions to plant science made by Academician Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov of Russia and Sir Otto Frankel of Australia.
Vavilov was one of the first scientists to recognize the value of genetic diversity in domesticated crop plants and their wild relatives to crop improvement. Perhaps his most lasting contribution was the identification of eight geographic areas, known as 'centres of diversity', that contain a large proportion of this diversity. Frankel was an early advocate of the importance of landraces for plant breeding. He also played a major role in raising international awareness of the urgency of conserving plant genetic resources.
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