Jennifer Wilker is the Latin American leading bean breeder based in Palmira. She obtained her PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Guelph (Canada) and has broad experience studying genetic diversity and nitrogen fixation in cereals and beans.
The focus of her team is to develop bean germplasm with enhanced nutritional value combined with resistance to key biotic and abiotic stresses. Drought and heat tolerance are of particular importance considering the projected adverse impact of climate change on small-holder growers throughout the world. Exploration of diverse genetic resources including the secondary and tertiary genepools for traits of interest and strategic use of these resources in breeding efforts will enhance bean crop improvement in the future.