Mark Tester is professor of plant science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, affiliated with the Desert Agriculture Initiative. Prior to joining KAUST in February 2013, he was an ARC Federation Fellow and professor of plant physiology at the University of Adelaide. During that time, he established The Plant Accelerator. Previously, he was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where he also received his PhD, back in 1988. Mark’s research aims at understanding the molecular processes that allow plants to survive in suboptimal conditions and using this to improve abiotic stress tolerance of crops. In 2017, he and his colleagues published a high-quality sequence of the quinoa genome in Nature.