Dr. Sharbel’s research group investigates apomixis (asexual plant reproduction via seeds) in natural populations, using evolutionary theory, population genetics and advanced “omics” methods, with the goal of identifying apomixis factors for agricultural improvement. Dr. Sharbel worked as a technician in an amphibian genetics laboratory at McGill University from 1987 until 1995 and simultaneously completed his BSc and MSc in evolution and biology at McGill.
In 1995, he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Behavioural Physiology (Seewiesen, Germany), where he completed his PhD in Biology, studying the evolution of sex in flatworms from the Italian Alps. In 1999, Dr. Sharbel moved to the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (Jena, Germany) to work on apomixis as a post-doc.
In 2005, he began as head of the apomixis research group at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK Gatersleben, Germany). On September 1, 2015, he began as the GIFS Research Chair in Seed Biology at the newly formed Global Institute for Food Security in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.