AugustoBecerraLopez LavalleCouncillor for Latin America

Luis Augusto Becerra López-Lavalle
Principal Scientist
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Km 17 Recta Cali-Palmira, Cali, Colombia (A.A. 6713)
Tel: +57 2 4450000 Ext. 3356
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Skype: Augustob1966


Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle is a Plant Molecular Geneticists and has been the Principal Scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT - Cali) for the past three years. Prior to that he was a CIAT’s Senior Scientist for five years undertaking cassava molecular genetics and next-generation breeding schemes. In his current role, he is the leader of the Global Cassava Program in Colombia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and is responsible for leading the cassava research strategy, manages the program’s budget and a staff of 130 people including 15 PhD-level scientists, laboratory technical support, agronomic engineers, and administrative support. He guides his team and the talent management portfolio. At the CGIAR-level, he is Global Research Leader for Enhanced Utilization of RTB Genetic Resources (RTB phase-II).

Augusto works hard to find new sources of funding with the private sector for cassava research and works with both farmers and a portfolio of 50 advanced research partners from the international community to accomplish this goal. His partners not only share information but they also help each other to obtain funding from other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Australia, Germany, etc. The goal of Augusto's research is to improve the growth of the cassava crop and find ways to make it environmentally and economically sustainable. Cassava is a crop that is very important for food security in Africa and in industry in Asia. It is used as a starch source for multiple purposes including food texturizers, cosmetics, and textiles and is used to prepare superabsorbent hydrogels. It is also used as a "green label" food additive to thicken and texturize. This plant has multiple uses throughout the world.

Augusto move to Australia in 1996 to pursue his PhD at the University of Sydney; where he was the recipient of a scholarship for the cotton industry to develop molecular approaches toward a durable Fusarium wilts resistance in cotton. Immediately after he joins the commonwealth scientific and Industrial research organization (CSIRO) to continue the development of molecular markers for transferring fusarium wilt resistance in Australian commercial cotton varieties.

While attending Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University, Augusto received "The Young Research for Basic Science" award for his research in Sweet Potato - Awarded by The National Academy of Science and Technology of the Third World through The National Academy of Science of Peru -- both of these academies are under the umbrella of The Third-World Academy of Science (TWAS).