Hale Ann Tufan
Associate Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Global Development
Hale Ann Tufan is an associate professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Global Development at Cornell University. In her work with plant breeders, social scientists, and research institutions, Tufan explores how agricultural research processes and outputs can positively contribute to gender equality and social inclusion. Through her research to develop methods and approaches she enables gender+ analysis in agricultural innovation, while advocating for inclusive agricultural research by challenging power and norms in the research ecosystem.
Tufan serves in leadership positions of several grant-funded projects aimed at food security, crop improvement, seed systems, and gender relations. She is currently the priority setting co-lead of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement, principal investigator of the Gender Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) project, principal investigator of Muhogo Bora: Cassava for All, survey division lead of NextGen Cassava, and gender research lead of the Feed the Future Insect-Resistant Eggplant Partnership.
Tufan brings a multidisciplinary background to her research spanning Ph.D.-level research in molecular plant pathogen interactions, plant breeding with CIMMYT, international agricultural research for development program management, and gender research and capacity development across sub-Saharan Africa.
Tufan is the 2019 recipient of the Norman Borlaug Field Award. She completed her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the John Innes Centre, UK.
Awards & Scholarships
- Mario Einaudi Center Global Public Voices Fellow, 2021
- World Food Prize Norman Borlaug Field Award, 2019
- Cornell Cook Award (recognizes commitment to women’s issues), 2019
- Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum Award, 2010
- British Society for Plant Pathology Travel Award, 2006
- The Scientific Research Council of Turkey MSc Scholarship, 2004-2006
- British Society for Plant Pathology MSc Bursary, 2004
- European Molecular Biology Organization Short-term Fellowship, 2004
- Faculty Advisory Committee for the MPS program in Global Development, 2020-Present
- School of Integrative Plant Science Diversity and Inclusion Council member, 2020-Present
- CALS Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Committee Member, 2019-Present
- Advancing Women in Agriculture through Research and Education Co-Leader, 2013-Present
- School of Integrative Plant Science Chair of Diversity and Inclusion, 2020-2021
- Certificate in Africa and International Development, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, U.K., 2011 - 2012
- PhD in Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich, U.K., 2006 - 2010
- MSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, 2004 - 2006
- BSc in Biochemistry, Minor in Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, U.S.A., 1993-2003
Gender equality & social inclusion
Inclusive crop improvement and seed systems
Agricultural research for development
Tufan’s research program examines how agricultural research processes and outputs can positively contribute to gender equality and social inclusion. Her research is focused in three primary areas:
Frameworks and approaches for inclusive crop improvement
Tufan critically interrogates systemic norms and power in crop improvement with the intended outcome developing programs that are inclusive and equitable. Her work explores the role of social identities — gender, age, education, and more — in the design and adoption of agricultural innovations.
Innovative tools and methods that integrate plant breeding and gender research
Tufan’s work centers on developing, testing and implementing participatory and interdisciplinary research approaches in crop improvement research, such as adoption of crop varieties and differences in trait preferences. Her focus on a gender and social difference analysis integrates social identities and household characteristics that interact with gender to shape trait preferences and determine the success of new varieties.
Intrahousehold dynamics, social norms and gender relations in seed systems
With attention to gender roles, relations, and inequities to technological uptake, Tufan seeks to understand how intrahousehold dynamics shape crop trait preferences, varietal adoption and seed systems, and how individuals within households experience benefits from technology adoption.
Current Research Programs
Role: Principal Investigator | Funded by an anonymous donor (2020-2023)
Muhogo Bora, which means "better cassava" in Swahili, provides support to develop and expand cassava seed systems in Tanzania with targeted outreach to the Western Zone, Central and Southern Highlands regions. The program seeks to increase the participation of women, youth and rural farmers from geographically-underserved regions in cassava markets. By focusing on best agronomic practices and digital knowledge assets, Muhogo Bora seeks to increase efficiency in seed multiplication and root production.
Role: Associate Director; Co-leader for priority setting objective area | Funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (2019-2024, $29M total)
The Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement equips National Agricultural Research Institutes with the power to define their unique goals and drive advancement in crop improvement to reduce malnutrition, hunger and provide equitable benefits to women and youth. Our work is advancing plant breeding tools, technologies and methods aimed at delivering staple crops (roots, tubers and banana, millets, sorghum, and legumes) that can increase yields, enhance nutrition and show greater resistance to pests and diseases.
Role: Principal Investigator | Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2016-2021, $5M total)
GREAT delivers training to agricultural researchers from sub-Sarahan Africa in the theory and practice of gender-responsive research, seeking to increase opportunities for equitable participation and the sharing of benefits from agricultural research and improve the outcomes for smallholder women farmers, entrepreneurs, and farmer organizations across sub-Saharan Africa. By building and engaging communities of researchers equipped with the skills, knowledge, and support systems to develop and implement gender-responsive projects, GREAT advances gender-responsiveness as the norm and standard for agricultural research.
Role: Survey Division Lead (2016-Present); Project Manager (2012-2016) | Funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UKaid (2012-Present, $25M)
The NextGen Cassava Breeding project seeks to modernize partner cassava breeding institutions in Africa and use cutting-edge tools for efficient delivery of improved varieties of cassava. The ultimate beneficiaries of this project are the cassava farmers of sub-Saharan Africa, who will receive improved varieties that increase fresh root yields, are more resilient to devastating virus diseases, and exhibit other traits preferred by smallholder farmers.
Role: Gender Research Lead | Funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (2022-2026, $10 total)
The Feed the Future Insect-Resistant Eggplant Partnership empowers scientists in Bangladesh and the Philippines to develop new, locally adapted varieties of eggplant while engaging with policymakers on clear regulatory pathways for their release. As Gender Research Lead, Tufan studies whether biotechnology products equitably benefit women, men, and young people within households that adopt them in Bangladesh. Looking beyond household level income benefits, the study examines how gender norms and intrahousehold dynamics specifically shape positive or negative outcomes for women and youth.
Past Research Programs
- RTB Foods Project. Role: Co-coordinator. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ($1M, 2017-2019)
- RTB-University Partnership. Role: Co-principal Investigator. Funded by USAID ($50k, 2014)
Selected Peer-reviewed publications
Balogun I, Garner E, Amer P, Fennessy P, Teeken B, Olaosebikan OA, Abolore B, Madu T, Okoye B, Santos B, Byrne T, Martin-Collado D, Egesi C, Kulakow P and Tufan HA (2021). From Traits to Typologies: Piloting New Approaches to Profiling Trait Preferences along the Cassava Value Chain. Crop Science
Tufan HA, Mangheni M, Boonabaana B, Asiimwe E, Jenkins D, Garner E. GREAT Expectations: Building a model for applied gender training for crop improvement. Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security
Mangheni M, Boonabaana B, Tufan HA, Asiimwe E, Jenkins D. A competency framework for applied interdisciplinary gender and agricultural research training programmes (2021). Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security
Mangheni M, Musiimenta P, Boonabaana B, Tufan HA (2021). Tracking the gender responsiveness of agricultural research across the research cycle: a monitoring and evaluation framework tested in Uganda and Rwanda. Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security
Tufan HA, Mangheni M, Boonabaana B, Asiimwe E, Jenkins D. Garner, E (2021). GREAT Expectations: building a model for applied gender training for crop improvement. Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security
Teeken B, Garner E, Agbona A, Balogun I, Olaosebikan OA, Abolore B, Madu T, Okoye B, Egesi C, Kulakow P and Tufan HA (2021). Beyond ‘women’s traits’: Exploring how gender, social difference and household characteristics influence trait preferences. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Mangheni MN, Musiimenta P, Boonabaana B, Tufan HA (2021). The Genesis and Performance of Gender Focal Person Structures in Rwanda and Uganda National Agricultural Organisations: A Critique. Sustainability.
Polar V, Ashby JA, Thiele G and Tufan HA (2021). When Is Choice Empowering? Examining Gender Differences in Varietal Adoption through Case Studies from Sub-Saharan Africa. Sustainability.
Nanyonjo AR, Kawuki RS, Kyazze F, Esuma W, Wembabazi E, Dufour D, Nuwamanya E and Tufan HA (2021). Assessment of end user traits and physicochemical qualities of cassava flour: A case of Zombo district, Uganda. International Journal of Food Science & Technology.
- Acevedo M, Zinyengere N, Cichy K, Meng S, Tufan HA, Pixley K, Bizikova L, Isaacs K, Ghezzi-Kopel K and Porciello J (2020). Evidence Synthesis: determinants of adoption of climate resilient crops and crop varieties by small-scale producers in low-and middle-income countries. Nature Plants, under review
- Forsythe L, Tufan HA, Bouniol A, Klein U and Fliedel G (2020). An interdisciplinary and participatory methodology to develop inclusive quality profiles for root, tuber and banana crops in sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, under review
- Coffman WR, Acevedo M, Evanega SD, Porciello P, Tufan HA and McCandless L (2020)
- VIEWPOINT: Five recommendations for an inclusive and collaborative One CGIAR. Food Policy, Volume 91.
- Iragaba P, Kawuki RS, Bauchet G, Punna R, Tufan HA, Earl ED, Gore MA and Wolfe MD (2019) Genomic characterization of Ugandan smallholder farmer-preferred cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) varieties. Crop Science.
- Iragaba P, Nuwamanya E, Baguma Y, Dufour D, Earle ED, Kerr RB, Tufan HA, Gore MA and Kawuki RS (2019). Estimates for heritability and consumer-validation of a penetrometer method for phenotyping softness of cooked cassava roots. African Crop Science Journal, Volume 27 No. 2.
- Olaosebikan O, Haleegoah J, Oladejo E, Madu T, Bello A, Parkes E, Egesi C, Teeken, B, Kulakow P, Kirscht H, Tufan HA (2017) Cassava trait preferences of men and women farmers in Southwest and Southeast Nigeria, what are the implications for trait prioritization within breeding? Economic Botany, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 263–277
- Maruthi MN, Bouvaine S, Tufan HA, Mohammed IU, Hillocks RJ (2014) Transcriptional Response of Virus-Infected Cassava and Identification of Putative Sources of Resistance for Cassava Brown Streak Disease. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96642.
- Gibson RW, Wasswa P, Tufan HA (2013) The ability of cultivars of sweetpotato in East Africa to ‘revert’ from Sweet potato feathery mottle virus infection. Virus Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2013.12.006
- Tufan HA, McGrann GRD, MacCormack R, Boyd LA (2012) TaWIR1 contributes to post-penetration resistance to Magnaporthe oryzae, but not Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici in wheat. Molecular Plant Pathology 13: 653-665.
- Tufan HA*, Morgounov A*, Sharma R, Akin B, Bagci A, Braun H-J, Kaya Y, Keser M, Payne TS, Sonder K, McIntosh R (2011) Global incidence of wheat rusts and powdery mildew during 1969-2010 and durability of resistance of winter wheat variety Bezostaya 1 based on multi-location data. European Journal of Plant Pathology 132: 323-340
- Tufan HA, Stefanato FL, MacCormack R, McGrann GRD, Boyd LA (2011) Barley stripe mosaic virus infection differentially affects susceptibility to fungal pathogens in wheat: a cautionary note for virus induced gene silencing in cereals. Journal of Plant Physiology 168: 990–994
- Tufan HA, McGrann GRD, Magusin A, Morel JB, Miché L, Boyd LA (2009) Wheat Blast: Histopathology and transcriptome reprogramming in response to adapted and non-adapted Magnaporthe isolates. New Phytologist 184: 473–484
- Hale KL, Tufan H, Pickering IJ, George GN, Terry N, Pilon M, Pilon-Smits EAH (2002) Anthocyanins Facilitate Tungsten Accumulation In Brassica. Physiologia Plantarum 116:351-358
Selected book chapters and reports
Mangheni MN and Tufan HA (Eds.) (expected 2022). GREAT Trainers Manual. CABI
Njuki J, Tufan HA, Polar V, and Campos H (Eds.) (expected 2022). Gender, Power and Politics in Agriculture: Revisiting Theory and Practice. Springer
- Mangheni MN, Tufan HA, Boonabaana B, Musiimenta P, Miiro R, Njuki J (2019) Building gender research capacity for non-specialists: Lessons and best practices from gender short courses for agricultural researchers in sub-Saharan Africa. In: Advances in Gender Research Volume 28, V Demos, M Segal and K Kelly (Eds). Emerald Publishing Limited
- Mangheni MN, Tufan HA, Nkengla, L, Aman BO, Boonabaana B (2019) Gender norms, technology access and women farmers’ vulnerability to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. In: Agriculture and Ecosystem Resilience in Sub Saharan Africa: Livelihood Pathways Under Changing Climate. Y Bamutaze, S Kyamanywa, BR Singh, G Nabanoga, R Lal (Eds.). Springer
- Tufan, HA, Grando, S and Meola, C (Eds.) (2018) State of the Knowledge for Gender in Breeding: Case Studies for Practitioners. Lima (Peru). CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative Working Paper No. 3
- The Role of Gender-based Innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Toward 2030: Better Science and Technology for All (2016), WISET
Selected outreach publications
World Food Prize Borlaug Blog: Gender is a hot topic in agriculture, it is missing the point
Excellent in Breeding Platform: New approaches to breed more inclusive crop varieties
- World Food Prize Borlaug Blog: Take it to All the Farmers
- Chicago Council: The Beauty Of The Bottom Up: Making Crop Improvement Work For National Programs
- African Plant Breeders Association, Kigali, Rwanda, Keynote, 2021
- Tropentag 2021 (online), Keynote, 2021
- Cultivating equality Conference (online), Invited speaker and panel moderator, 2021
- CIP Agricultural Innovation Discussion (online), Keynote, 2021
- Global Agricultural Innovation Forum (online), Invited speaker, 2021
- IAFFE Annual Meeting (online), Invited speaker, 2020
- ASA, CSSA and SSSA Annual Meeting (online), Invited speaker, 2020
- BGRI Annual Workshop (online), Keynote, 2020
- Nature Research: Uniting Science and Policy to End Hunger (online), Invited speaker, 2021
- IFHE World Congress, 2020
- Gender Summit, Nairobi Kenya, 2020
- NCSU Biannual Plant Breeding Symposium, 2020
- Donald Danforth Plant Science Symposium, 2019
- Seeds of Change Conference, Canberra, Australia, 2019
- ICRD Conference, Bern, Switzerland, 2017
- Gender and Genomics Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya, 2016
- Gender Summit 5, Cape Town, South Africa, 2015
- CGIAR RTB, Cali, Colombia, 2014
- International Plant Breeding Conference, Antalya, Turkey, 2013
- ISTRC Symposium, Abeokuta, Nigeria, 2012
- Global Cassava Partnership Conference, Kampala, Uganda. 2012
- APS-International Plant Protection Congress, Honolulu, U.S.A., 2011
- BGRI Technical Workshop, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2010
- International Congress on MPMI, Sorrento, Italy, 2007
120 Academic Surge Facility A
Ithaca, NY 14853
hat36 [at] cornell.edu
Hale Ann in the news
- American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
- Biological and Environmental Engineering
- Computational Biology
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Plant Breeding and Genetics Section