Phone +256 793 529 838 | +256 772 735 939 | +256 703 789 436

Principal Scientists

Dr. Richard Edema

Director

Dr. Richard Edema

Dr. Richard Edema’s educational background is in Plant Pathology and Biotechnology. He received his Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees in Agriculture from Makerere University, and his PhD in Plant Pathology (specializing in Molecular Virology) from Ohio State University under the supervision by Prof. Donald. T. Gordon. His PhD research was on “Genetics of Virulence of the Maize Streak Mastrevirus (MSV)”, a very damaging virus of maize across in Africa. In his 15 years of experience in academia at Makerere University, he has taught various undergraduate and graduate courses and supervised more than 50 graduate students. He has co-authored over 80 research articles (mostly in major international peer-reviewed journals), and has been Principal Investigator on numerous research grants amounting to about $11 million.

Dr. Edema contributed to the development of Makerere University’s award-winning regional MSc program in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems that has been favorably noted by several funding agencies. This program, which has trained over 120 mid-career scientists across African continent, and has become a model for regional capacity building in East Africa, has now been upgraded into MaRCCI, an African Centre of Excellence for Plant Breeding for eastern and southern Africa. It receives funding from the Government of Uganda through the World Bank. Richard has also been recognized for his role as a mentor in the AWARD program (African Women in Agricultural Research and Development) that supports young women’s early career involvement in agricultural sciences.

Email:redema@marcci.org

Phone:+256 793 529 838

Prof. Paul Gibson

Deputy Director

Prof. Paul Gibson

Prof. Paul Gibson holds a PhD in Plant Breeding from Iowa State University, and has a thorough understanding of statistics as applied to breeding principles (Quantitative Genetics). He has extensive experience in international agriculture, having worked in South India (ICRISAT in Hyderabad), the tropical rain forest of Costa Rica, Zambia and Ukraine for a total of 17 years before coming to Uganda in 2008.  He has been the main instructor in the regional plant breeding programme of Makerere University for 9 years.  His vision and calling is to address issues of food security in areas where malnutrition and hunger are endemic.  In his “spare time” he often relaxes with a statistics textbook and enjoys games of strategy.

Email:pgibson@marcci.org

Phone:+256 772 735 939

Dr. Patrick Obia Ongom

Team Leader for Research & Instructor

Dr. Patrick Obia Ongom

With a BSc in Agriculture and MSc in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems from Makerere University, Dr. Patrick studied for his PhD in Plant Genetics and Breeding under the distinguished Prof. Gebisa Ejeta (Purdue Univ, USA), testing a promising drought phenotyping strategy to simulate drought stress and mapping sorghum genome regions for drought tolerance. He currently works on cowpea varieties, merging conventional breeding techniques with recent advances in plant genomics to develop high-yielding and stress-resilient varieties. Besides overseeing MaRCCI’s cowpea and sorghum breeding programmes, Patrick instructs graduate students of the programme.

Email:pongom@marcci.org

Phone:+256 780 434 723

Dr. Isaac Onziga Dramadri

Associate Sorghum Breeder

Dr. Isaac Onziga Dramadri

With a BSc in Agriculture and MSc in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems from Makerere University, Dr. Isaac studied for his PhD in Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology at Michigan State University under the distinguished Prof.  James D. Kelly. His research focused on improving common bean particularly the larger seeded types of Andean gene pool for drought tolerance using genomic and phenometric tools.  He currently works on Cowpea and Sorghum breeding programs to develop and improve these crops for yield and stress-resilience, integrating conventional breeding techniques with recent advances in genomics and phenometric tools. In addition to supporting MaRCCI’s cowpea and sorghum breeding programmes, Isaac instructs graduate students of the programme.

Email:idramadri@marcci.org

Phone:+256 780 265 517

Support Staff

Doreen Kyaligonza

Programme Officer – Administration

Doreen Kyaligonza

With a Master’s degree in Management, Doreen has over 7 years of experience in Project Planning and Management. She has designed, implemented and managed several projects, especially in governance, working directly with NGOs, state institutions and development partners. She focuses on results-based interventions and gender mainstreaming. She loves travel and adventure

Email:dkyaligonza@marcci.org

Phone:+256 703 789 436

Sarah Akello Esimu

Program Officer - In-Service Training, Monitoring and Evaluation

Sarah Akello Esimu

For her PhD in Agricultural and Rural Innovation studies (Makerere University), Sarah evaluated the previous efforts towards restoration of a degraded watershed in Eastern Uganda. Having worked with Ugandan, EU and Swedish forestry projects and as co-founder of a forestry consultancy firm, Sarah has valuable experience in planning, monitoring and evaluating programme activities.

Email:sakello@marcci.org

Phone:+256 782 734 449

Hellen Kongai Biruma

Program Officer for Graduate Training and Academic Affairs

Hellen Kongai Biruma

An Agricultural Economist with an emphasis in agricultural marketing and natural resource management, Hellen has worked over 15 years in administration, training and research, especially with graduate students. She has a Master’s in Agro-Business Management and a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics (Univ. of Malawi). She has previously worked for RUFORUM’s agricultural program and taught at Kyambogo University. She loves gardening

Email:hbiruma@marcci.org

Phone:+256 792 351 804

Pauline Gibson

Communications Expert

Pauline Gibson

Pauline has an MA in Health Education (from Southern Illinois University). She is a nurse (RN) and midwife (RM) with emphases in community health in developing countries, mother and child nutrition, communicable diseases and care of leprosy patients. She also has special training in teaching English as a Foreign Language, has lived internationally for 40 years of her life, and used 10 languages to varying degree). With a variety of roles in the program, her main focus is teaching English skills aimed at professional writing and presentations. She hosts visitors readily, writes sometimes, gets easily carried away in conversing and mentoring, and revels in local culture and crafts.

Email:paulineg@marcci.org

Phone:+256 772 735 940

Tom Obeke

Assistant Accountant

Tom Obeke

Tom is a Certified Public Accountant (ICPAU) with over 10 years’ experience in the accountancy profession. He also has an MBA (MUK), B.COM (MUK), and UDBS (MUBS). He has previously worked for the National Curriculum Development Centre’s (NCDC) Joint Medical store. Tom loves reading

Email:tomobeke@gmail.com

Phone:+256 778 669 570

Doreen Nambi

Personal Secretary to the Director

Doreen Nambi

Doreen has a BA in Library and Information Science, and experience in information and database management, record keeping and management of information systems. She has good administrative, organizational and communication skills, and can work well under pressure to deliver good results. She enjoys reading, singing, travelling and surfing – the internet!

Email:dnambi@marcci.org

Phone:+256 774 034 445

Amakaru Betty

Administrative Assistant to Deputy Director

Amakaru Betty

Betty has Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and Certificate in Geographical Information System (GIS) and is currently doing a Master of Arts in Development Studies. She worked as community facilitator and has experience in report writing, community mobilisation and sensitisation, drawing and interpretation of physical plan. She loves singing in church choir.

Email:abetty@marcci.org

Phone:+256 73 003432

Bruno Awio

Assistant Cowpea Breeder

Bruno Awio

Bruno has an MSc degree in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems, and BSc in Agriculture, both from Makerere University. He is interested in contributing to crop improvements that impact food security in Uganda and beyond.

Email:abruno@marcci.org

Phone:+256 777 113 157

Winnifred Daisy Akech

Laboratory Technologist

Winnifred Daisy Akech

With a BSc in Biomedical Laboratory Technology from Makerere University, Winnie has become interested in its applications to agriculture because f her strong desire to participate in the fight for food security in Africa. Winnie worked with the National Agricultural Research Laboratories for a year before joining the Biotechnology Laboratory of Makerere University in 2015 under the AGRA-IMCDA project. During her spare time she loves swimming and dancing to a good live band.

Email:adaisy@marcci.org

Phone:+256 779 624 238

Sarah Seruwagi Nabulime

Technician-Biotechnology

Sarah Seruwagi Nabulime

Sarah has an Associate of Science Degree in Business Management from Penn Foster College, USA, and a Diploma in Science Technology Biology from Kyambogo University. She has over 13 years of experience in laboratory management & molecular lab techniques. She worked for 3 years at the biotechnology laboratory at Makerere University, and has acquired advanced skills through training at ICRISAT & BecA, and the Institute for Research in Agriculture in Mozambique (IIAM). Sarah enjoys hand-crafted art.

Email:snabulime@marcci.org

Phone:+256 772 929 584

Alice Candia

Administrative Assistant

Alice Candia

Alice has a Master’s degree in Business Administration (International Business) from Amity University, Uttar Pradesh (India), a BA from Makerere University, and Diploma in Secondary Education (from the Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo). She has over 5 years of experience in administration

Email:cndlc95@gmail.com

Phone:+256 772 369 138