Former 2013 Borlaug LEAP fellow Zennah Kosgey completed her Masters degree in Plant Breeding at Egerton University in her native Kenya in 2014. Prior to beginning her studies, Kosgey had been working on the Durable Rust Resistance Wheat (DRRW) project at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in Njoro, and she took a study leave to pursue her degree.
For her Borlaug LEAP Fellowship, Kosgey traveled to North Dakota State University to work with Dr. Maricelis Acevedo, a specialist in wheat rust pathology. It was her first time traveling to the United States. Ms. Kosgey’s research focused on the mapping and evaluation of genes /QTL for stem rust (Puccinia graminis f.sp. tritici) resistance in a comprehensive panel of Kenyan bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) germplasm. Her CGIAR mentor was Dr. Sridhar Bhavani, a leading expert in wheat pathology and breeding at CIMMYT.
After graduating, Ms. Kosgey briefly returned to KALRO to complete some of her research and is currently a PhD student and BHEARD Fellow at the University of Minnesota, in their Plant Pathology Department, where she continues to research wheat stem rust disease resistance.