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Andrea Carter, Ph.D., Director of Agriculture & Education

Dr. Andrea Carter Native Seeds Search

Dr. Carter serves as a link, between the NS/S seed bank and small-scale farmers across the Southwest. She graduated with honors from Cornell University where she became passionate about reviving traditional agriculture through her mentorship within the American Indian Program. Having received her PhD in Plant Science from the University of Arizona, Andrea’s research experience with drought-adapted crops has prepared her to meaningfully contribute to the Native Seeds’ mission to conserve and promote arid-adapted crop diversity and sustainable farming. She was a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Indigenous Graduate Scholarship from the UA.

Her doctoral program included three years of field trials exploring the physiology of drought tolerance in barley. This work involved elucidation of key adaptive traits for integration into future breeding programs for drought adapted and low-input crops. Additional research carried out included the identification of root-traits associated with drought and heavy metal tolerance at early stages of plant development for potential use as a simple and inexpensive plant screening tool. 

Andrea’s agronomic knowledge was further enhanced through her work with low-input and water conserving production methods in Cuba, China, and North Africa as well as urban farming in Washington D.C. As a member of the Powhatan Renape Nation she values cross-cultural approaches to problem solving that can contribute to enhanced seed-saving capacity and food security in Native communities by drawing on the existing agricultural knowledge base of these communities.