Mr Mahen Sabampillai

Research Officer

Centre for Crop Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation


Mahen’s research is focused on the improvement of pigeonpea using various breeding tools to develop photoperiod insensitive, short-duration and high yielding varieties for commercialisation. His current work utilises pedigree breeding, hybridisation techniques, rapid generation advancement using speed breeding facility and potential use of advance breeding techniques such as marker assisted selection and gene editing. Thus, development of climate-resilient varieties with improved seed yield and quality, and resistance to biotic/abiotic stresses remain high priority of his crop improvement project.

Researcher Biography

Changing jobs is never easy and moving from work environments as contrasting as academia and industry represents unique challenges. After completing his undergraduate degree then a Master (MBA), Mahen held senior management positions in corporate entities before returning to academia to start PhD. Although this might not be a conventional route, it has given him a unique experience and opportunity to manage a wide variety of complex and multifaceted research projects and to find practical solutions. He is very passionate in working as a research scientist and wanted to develop this career path further.


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Queensland, Australia

Master of Business Administration, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Agriculture, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka


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