Michael Selvaraj

Dr. Michael Gomez Selvaraj (MS) is a Senior Scientist at Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Cali, Colombia, leading plant phenomics platform.

Within the CGIAR framework, Michael’s research aims to increase the accuracy, precision, and throughput of phenotypic estimation of plant traits while reducing costs and minimizing labor through automation, remote sensing, AI, improved data integration, and experimental design. Through effective collaboration with international partners, he has developed a state-of-the-art facility comprised of automated rainout shelters (for drought screening) and low-nitrogen field plots (for Nitrogen use efficiency screening) integrated with a multi-spectral imaging system mounted on phenotowers on the roof of rainout shelters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Michael also initiated the development of breakthrough ground-penetrating radar technologies capable of non-destructively quantifying cassava roots. Water and nitrogen use efficient trait screening protocols and standard operating procedures developed from his platform are being implemented in Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda through NEWEST rice (Nitrogen Use Efficient, Water Use Efficient, and Salt Tolerant), a USAID project in which he is Principal Investigator for the Alliance and serves on the Project Advisory Committee.

Michael is currently collaborating with international partners and acting as a principal investigator in several research grants to improve food security in developing counties. He has published more than 100 research and technical papers in internationally reputed journals and conferences and his research papers have been highly cited by research communities. He received the outstanding research publication CIAT award (2017) for phenomics research and; Valle, Innovative and Intelligent territory award, 2019 for the category: digital transformation in the agricultural sector.

He also serves as a reviewer in several reputed international journals.