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Dr. Dionysia Angeliki Lyra
Dr. Dionysia Angeliki Lyra is a halophyte agronomist at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in Dubai. For the past five years, she has mainly been working on: a) evaluating halophytic germplasm and exploring its potential in inland and coastal desert areas; and b) developing sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural systems to produce food, feed and industrial products by growing highly salt-tolerant crops with non-conventional water and land resources in desert areas. Prior to that, she worked as an extension officer at the Directorate of Agriculture in Southern Greece, at the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food, and as Research Assistant at the Laboratory of Agronomy at the Agricultural University of Athens in Greece.
She holds a PhD in Crop Science from the Agricultural University of Athens, and she received many scholarships and grants from the Hellenic Ministry of Educational Affairs, EU, European Weed Research Society, Arab-American Frontiers, USAID and the private sector. The projects she participated in—“Evaluation of Eight Barley Varieties for Drought Resistance and Crop Yield, Funded by Athenian Brewery S.A.” in 2013 and the “Food for the Future” program in collaboration with American University in Cairo/RISE and funded by HSBC in 2018—received the Greek Marketing Academy Award of Excellence and the Second International Business Excellence Award, respectively.
After running a successful project funded by USAID in 2016, Dr. Lyra was named as one of the 29 global innovators for EXPO2020 of the first phase of the EXPO Live program in 2017, and she received a grant for the project entitled “Inland and Coastal Modular Farms for Climate Change Adaptation in Desert Environments.” The project on integrated farming systems was a finalist in the category Farm Innovation Award–Agriculture and Food Security/Climate Change Innovation Award at the AGRAME exhibition in 2016 and 2017.
She has authored and co-authored more than 50 publications, including a technical manual on principles of sustainable agriculture and water management, articles in peer-reviewed journals, conference papers and research reports.
Her vision is to develop, through effective collaborations, nutritious food products originating from halophytic crops that could be cultivated in integrated farming systems tailored to the needs of each marginal region, utilizing low-quality water and land resources with the target to foster the livelihoods of the subsistence farming communities.