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Faty Diaw

Mrs Faty Diaw was born in Temeye in the North of Senegal. She had her primary education at a school in Temeye, near Richard Toll in the North of Senegal. Her dream since childhood was to become a medical doctor. After getting her bachelor at Richard Toll High School, she was admitted to the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar at the Department of Natural Sciences instead of medicine. She was quite disappointed at not being admitted for her childhood dream course, but later had a change of mind following a discussion with a number of students who were pursuing Naturel Sciences; she realized that she still had a chance to do medicine since the course offered modules in animal biology, plant biology and geology. During her third year at the Department of Natural Sciences (Biology and Geology), She "fell in love" with Biology, particularly Molecular Biology and plant breeding. She graduated with a BSc degree in Natural Sciences in 2010.

Shortly after, she was admitted for a Master's degree in Population Genetics in the Department of Animal Biology. She obtained her Masters in Population Genetics and Molecular Biology in 2012. She attained vast working experience on genetic identification, diversity and haplotype structure of Senegalese and Guinean Weevil Ecotypes Sitophilus spp (Coleoptera, curculionidae) which are pests to stored maize, under the West African Agricultural Productivity Program in CERAAS. She then attained work at the Biotechnology Laboratory at AfricaRice Sahel Station as a research technician in plant breeding. This migration from animal biology to plant biology was kindled by her growing passion for agriculture and her desire to improve the living conditions of the farmers in Senegal, having grown up in a farming family.  In addition, she realized that genetic and molecular biology tools could be applied in both animals and plants, for their improvement.

 It was at Africarice that she got exposed to concepts and applications in plant breeding, especially focusing on marker-assisted selection. With this new passion, she started searching for PhD opportunities in order to enrich her knowledge on plant breeding. Following a tip off from her WACCI friends (cohort 7) about the quality of the Plant Breeding program at the institute, she immediately liked it and planned to apply for the next intake. She got admitted to WACCI by the grace of God, after a stiff selection process, under the DAAD scholarship.  She plans to breed rice varieties with high yield potential and tolerance to extreme temperatures for the Sahelian irrigated system.

Her dream is to tailor products suited for farmer needs amidst climate change and she hopes to have bred some lines adapted to climate change, having good performance on yield and farmer preference traits by the end of her four year program. She hopes to be a champion for increased rice production in Senegal.