Dr Samir Alahmad

Research Fellow

Centre for Crop Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation

Research Fellow

Centre for Crop Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation


Dr Samir Alahmad is an early career plant breeder, geneticist and plant physiologist within the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at the University of Queensland. He graduated with a PhD degree in 2019 from the University of Queensland. His main focus is dissecting the genetics of complex traits that contribute to enhanced yield. In particular, his research is focused on better understanding the genetics of drought adaptive traits such as root system architecture and canopy development. He worked on two GRDC-funded projects that aimed to develop elite durum and bread wheat varieties with optimal root system architecture for improved yield. Dr Alahmad also focuses on integrating breeding technologies and high throughput UAV remote sensing technologies to better understand crop response to drought stress. His primary focus is to understand how spectral reflectance indices can be used to speed up the development of new resilient varieties with enhanced genetic gain. Dr Samir Alahmad's interests are quantitative genetics, population genetics, genomic selection, GWAS, and UAV phenotyping.

Research Interests

  • Winter cereals pre-breeding and genetics
  • Investigating the value of root traits and canopy development in improving resilience and yield of cereal crops
  • Developing elite lines with designed root system architecture for future climates
  • Adapting wheat to drought and crown rot conditions
  • Using UAV sensor technology to provide new means of evaluating plant root performance

Research Impacts

Novel aproach aimed at reducing yield losses under drought and crown rot conditions by optimising root system architecture and enhancing plant access to water in deep soils as well as imporving other water use efficiency traits such as canopy structure. Details of this work could be found https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/15/5260. In adition, identification and management of crown rot disease for winter cereals are sumarised in "Taking the stock of what we know about crown rot disease in Australia".

Rooty and GRDC projects aimed at development of elite bread and durum wheats with modified root systems (different root ideotypes) targeting different enviromnets and soil types are esential for placing a value on these below ground traits. Information on the best root-environment-combination is crucial to defining breeding targets for Australian wheat breeding programs and delivering benefits to farmers and growers globaly and here in Australia. To get more details about these projects, read GRDC press release here

Recently, I commenced a second postdoctoral research project (3 years) funded by an ARC-linkage grant which focuses on the use of cutting-edge breeding technologies to explore and harness variation in root systems and canopy development. The aim of this project is to accelerate the development of stable, productive barley varieties for future Australian farms.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Masters (Research) of Agriculture, Damascus University
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Agriculture, Damascus University


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Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Alahmad, Samir, Rambla, Charlotte, Voss-Fels, Kai P. and Hickey, Lee T. (2022). Accelerating breeding cycles. Wheat improvement. (pp. 557-571) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-90673-3_30

Journal Article

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision