Dr. Ciotir earned her PhD in Environmental Life and Sciences at Trent University in Canada where she investigated evolution of rare and invasive plants. She is fascinated by crop evolution and domestication that uses artificial selection. At the University of Haifa, in the Institute of Evolution and Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, she will use her research background from botany, conservation, and population genetics to explore the genomic basis of adaptive variation in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum) and its wild progenitors. Using a combination of genetics, genomics and greenhouse experiments, she will study domestication-related traits and evolutionary processes that occurred during the transition from wild to domesticated wheat. She hopes that understanding the genomic basis of adaptive variation in plants could be applied in the future to improving the productivity and resilience of grain crops.
This is Dr. Ciotir’s second postdoc. During her previous position at Saint Louis University, she also served as a research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden investigating wild perennial herbaceous species candidates for perennial grain crop domestication.
Dr. Ciotir is interested in discovering and generating research that benefits society and changes the future of the world. One way is to develop sustainable perennial grain crops using new herbaceous perennial plants such as perennial grasses, legumes and oilseed species. At the same time, she aims to connect people with science in a meaningful way and increase their understanding, appreciation and conservation of nature.