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Scientist Spotlight: Jutta Werner on Drylands, Publications, and International Life

Name: Jutta Werner

Profession: Scientist & Mom of two children


Jutta Werner


Dr. Jutta Werner is a leading scientist working for The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). She is currently managing a research project called “Mind the Gap” focused on the improvement of rural extension services for smallholder livestock producers. By understanding which extension approaches have the greatest success Dr. Werner and her team aim to improve future agricultural technologies in a sustainable and far-reaching manner.

Dr. Werner grew up in a small village in Southern Germany and studied at Kiel University, completing her PhD at Humboldt University in Berlin. Her studies focused on plant production and more particularly on forage production and how to improve agricultural extension services considering gender aspects. Her remarkable international work and her desire to work in agriculture began with childhood conversations with her grandmother who owned a farm in Ukraine before the Second World War. Her stories and love of the farm made on impression that lasted on the young Dr. Werner and ultimately planted a passion for agriculture and growth. Her motivation in agriculture has always been to end hunger, especially in Drylands and rangelands, areas where farmers have adapted developed fascinating strategies to overcome the challenges of dry climate over centuries.

Some of Dr. Werner’s favorite work focused on the interface between research and policy advice, such as advising the Tunisian Ministries on developing a new pastoral law. Working for ICARDA has been as exiting—Dr. Werner “has not experiences a dull day so far!” Most days she is busy with project management, writing about progress, and monitoring reports. Business trips and field days change the routine and prove to be some of the most productive and interesting times where collaborations, long hours of hard work, and international knowledge-sharing come happen.

In her two years at ICACDA Dr. Werner has already seen significant progress through collaborations, job trainings, and work with partners and research organizations in the countries of the WANA region. The biggest challenge of her work lies in bridging the gap between research and development: good research needs time to show results in developments on the ground. An essential component of research and development is publications and presence in journals, which help root research, share it, and create opportunities for international inspiration and collaboration. For Dr. Werner’s work patience and persistence are essential in research, development, and communication between important stakeholders, donors, researchers, scientists, and farmers.

Dr. Werner is not only a leading international scientist, but an international traveler passionate about learning about the places she travels to and the people she meets, from fellow scientists on the field to the Bedouin women of Jordan. She is a proud mom two lovely children, global citizens ready to see more of the world and keep learning!  Dr. Werner is motivated by her work, knowing that it can change the world and make it better for the little ones everywhere. We know it will do just that. 




About the author: Ejona Bakalli is the Science Communications and Knowledge Management intern at the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems.