Researchers from Egypt spent several months in Texas last fall working with faculty from the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University as part of the Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program.

Dr. Samir Mohamed worked with Dr. Jake Mowrer; and Anas Mohamed Safaa Al-Din Sharshar teamed up with Dr. Amir Ibrahim.

four men in front of a building
The Borlaug Fellows and their mentors (l-r) Jake Mowrer, Samir Mohamed, Amir Ibrahim and Anas Mohamed Safaa Al-Din Sharshar.

Samir is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Microbiology at Minia University, Minia, Egypt, with a focus on soil/plant/microbe/environment interactions. Several of his current projects investigate the effects of biochar.

“Through this fellowship I hope to improve my understanding of the nexus of leguminous crop production under arid/semiarid condition, biochar amendments to the soil, and legume/rhizobia nitrogen fixation,” Samir stated. “I also expect to learn new technologies to measure plant performance and rhizobia bacteria activity.”

man looking at bare roots of a plant
Samir looks for nodules on the roots of a legume plant in one of the research projects he is conducting with Dr. Mowrer.

Samir also hopes to expand his Extension programming to communicate new practices to the local farmers.

Anas is a wheat researcher at the Agriculture Research Center, Field Crop Research Institute in Giza, Egypt.

“The Borlaug program will give me a chance to recognize the new techniques in wheat breeding, both traditional and molecular marker breeding,” said Anas. “I will also benefit from the seminars and lectures, and make new friends from a different country.”

The Fellows returned home in December, but the program does not end there.

man in greenhouse holding potted ryegrass
Anas worked in the greenhouse conducting salinity research in ryegrass with Dr. Ibrahim.

“We will continue to communicate with each other and pursue opportunities for future collaboration,” said Mowrer. “We will also co-author a manuscript for publication based on the research we performed together.”

Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship is a program of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service aimed at promoting food security and economic growth by providing training and collaborative research opportunities to fellows from developing and middle-income countries.

two men looking at a plant
Dr. Jake Mowrer and Samir Mohamed measure the root mass of a legume plant in their research project.