Hari Poudel, Ph.D.

Image Hari Poudel
Research Scientist (Forage genomics breeder)

Breeding improved productivity and quality through conventional breeding and utlization of the genomics tools to increase seletion efficiencies in forage crops suitable for western Canada

Current research and/or projects

1. SCAP-ASC-01 Beef Cluster Activity 18A - Breeding climate-resilie​nt forage : a national collaboration (2023-2028) funded by  Beef Cattle Research Counci

2. SCAP-ASC-01 Beef Cluster Activity 19A Development of improved cicer milkvetch germplasm for enhanced fitness to alfalfa and improved animal health, (2023-2028) funded by Beef Cattle Research Council

3. SCAP-ASC-01 Beef Cluster Activity 20A - Advancing Canadian sainfoin breeding for profitability, animal health, and a future of sustainable beef and forage production systems,  (2023-2028)  funded by Beef Cattle Research Council

4. Enhancement of total shoot lipid content/composition in non-GMO alfalfa and sainfoin for improved energy density and reduced methane emissions, (2022-2025) funded by Beef Cattle Research Council and SASK Agriculture Development Fund

5. Evaluation of annuals silage varieties in irrigated and non-irrigated system in Alberta, (2023-2025) funded by Results Driven Agricultural Research

6. Grazing cicer milkvetch for reduced green house gas emissions, (2024-2028) jointly funded by Beef Cattle Research Council and SASK Agriculture Development Fund

Research and/or project statements

Our research activities are focused on breeding forage germplasm or cultivars with increased productivity and nutritive values, and improved stress tolerance using innovative breeding approaches. Our project on improving lipid content in forages will not only improve animal health but also reduce enteric methane emissions. Incorporation of sainfoin with alfalfa reduces alfalfa bloat in ruminants. Similarly, our stress-tolerant cultivars can be planted in the marginal land to increase resource use efficiency in forage production. All these activities will directly help improve farm profitability and sustainability without adversely affecting the environment.

Professional activities / interests

  1. Forage legume and grass breeding for improved quality and productivity through genome assisted selection methods and compare thier relative effacy compared to conventional methods
  2. Utilization of omics toolsto understand the molecular mechanism and increase selection efficiencies in forage crops
  3. Assessment of predictive models and statistcial tools on high-throughput data and exploring their biological significance for improving forage productivity

Education and awards

Ph.D., Univeristy of Wisconsin  Madison, WI, USA (July 2014 - January 2019)

Advisor: Professor Michael Casler

Major: Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics focused on quantitative genetics

Minor: Statistics


MS, Auburn University, AL, USA (August 2011- June 2014)                  

Advisor: Professor Edzard van Santen

Thesis Title: Evaluation of progress in annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) selected for increased winter productivity in Southeastern USA

International experience and/or work

Research Associate Department of Environmental Science,  Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KYFebruary 2019 - August 2019

  • Responsible for research data analysis and statistical modeling
  • Assisted graduate students with their data analysis

Diploma in Agriculture, Israel, Arava International Center for Agriculture Training (AICAT), Israel, October 2009 July 2010

  • Desert Agriculture: Management and Production

Key publications

  1. Wang, H., Singh, K.D., Poudel, H., Ravichandran, P., Natarajan, M., and Eisenreich, B., "Estimation of Crop Height and Digital Biomass from UAV-based Multispectral Imagery", 13th Workshop on Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing (WHISPERS, IEEE), Athens, Greece, Oct.-Nov. 2023, https://doi.org/10.1109/WHISPERS61460.2023.10431021

    2023 - View publication details

Research facility

5403 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1



  • Alberta Forage Industry Network –Member
  • American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science - Member
  • Canadian Society of Agronomy- Member
  • Alfalfa Seed Committee- Board Member