Cecilia Hammenhag

Cecilia Hammenhag
I am enthusiastic about plant breeding and its potential in contributing to a sustainable agriculture. Let's talk seeds, science, and future crops!


I am currently involved in several projects, all aiming to develop genomic tools and adapt plants to new applications and environmental conditions:

 1) Domestication of a novel oil seed crop for norhern Sweden.  A long-term objective to domesticate a new oilseed crop called field cress (Lepidium campestre) for the production of fatty acids (oil) and proteins for diverse applications in areas with limited crop options, such as the Northern parts of Sweden

Lantbruksnytt 2019

2) Ärtan - garantin för framtidens gröna protein. Coordinator for this SLU Grogrund project in collaboration with Lantmännen, Foodhills, Kalmar-Ölands trädgårdsprodukter and Sveriges Stärkelseproducenter. With this project we aim for developing more drought and water congestion tolerated pea cultivars which are high-yielding under Swedish conditions and is a dependant source of raw material for different food applications. Related projects to this are additional projects on pea sensorics (taste) and pea gelation behavior in collaboration with SLU Food lav and Copenhagen University

Lantbruksnytt 2021

3) Genomisk selektion i rödklöver (Trifolium pratense L.). Another SLU Grogrund funded project which aims to develop and implement genomic selection for the red clover breeding program at Lantmännen. Collaborations with LRF and Hushållningssälsskapet sjuhärad.

4) Future faba beans for food and feed in which we will collect a diverse panel of faba bean germplasm for genotyping and phenotyping. The data will be used for genome wide association studies and developing new cultivars for Swedish farmers in collaboration with Lantmännen, Kalmar-Ölands trädgårdsprodukter and Sveriges Stärkelseproducenter.

Lantbruksnytt 2019

5) Exploring resistance sources against the devastating field pea disease Ascochyta blight, and developing tools for genomics-led breeding of resistant cultivars, a VR development funded project together with Mulatu Geleta, with several collaborators in Ethiopia. 

6) Past: Integrating plant genomics with conventional breeding to enhance the quality and productivity of finger millet, noug, sorghum and durum wheat - major food crops in Ethiopia. Developing plant breeding resources and capacity building in Ethiopia. A collaboration between Addis Ababa University and SLU, financed by SIDA


I teach basic genetics, plant domestication, traditional and modern plant breeding methods, genome sequencing, breeding of oil crops and more. 


I perform research and coordinate research projects aiming to adapt crop plants to be used in novel applications and in new environmental conditions, such as those expected from climate change. My main focus is within pre-breeding, were I characterize germplasms and develop genome-based methods to accelerate the time from identified need to the start to breed. 

I work in a diverse set of crops, from novel prototype oilseed crops to well-known pulses, forages and cereals. Even though my past years has been devoted to Academia, I have experience from working in within the plant breeding industry and the plant-based oil industry. Moreover, I specifically enjoy leading and participate in projects in collaboration with many stakeholders such as industry, farmer's organizations and other academies.


Supervised several BSc, MSc and PhD students

Publikationer i urval


(*né Gustafsson)

1)     Hammenhag C, Ganapathi V, Ortiz R and Geleta M (2020) QTL Mapping for domestication-related characteristics in field cress (Lepidium campestre)—A novel oil crop for the Subarctic region. Genes. 11, 1223 

2)     Ortiz R, Geleta M, Gustafsson C, Lager I, Hofvander P, Löfstedt C, Cahoon E, Minina E, Bozhkov P and Stymne S (2020). Oil crops for the future. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 56, 181-189 

3)     Geleta M, Gustafsson C, Glaubitz J and Ortiz R (2020). High-density genetic linkage mapping of Lepidium based on Genotyping-By-Sequencing SNPs and segregating contig tag haplotypes. Frontiers in Plant Science, 1 

4)     Gustafsson C, Willforss J, Lopes-Pinto F, Ortiz R and Geleta M (2018). Identification of genes regulating traits targeted for domestication of field cress (Lepidium campestre) as a biennial and perennial oilseed crop. BMC Genetics 19(36) 

5)     Brhane H, Haileselassie T, Tesfaye K, Ortiz R, Hammenhag C, Abreha B K, Vetukuri R and Geleta M (2022) Finger millet RNA-seq reveals differential gene expression associated with tolerance to aluminum toxicity and provides novel genomic resources. Frontiers in Plant Science 13 

6)     Osterman J, Hammenhag C, Ortiz R and Geleta M (2022) Discovering candidate SNPs for resilience breeding of red clover. Frontiers in Plant Science 13 

7)     Brhane H, Haileselassie T, Tesfaye K, Ortiz R, Hammenhag C, Abreha B K., Geleta M (2022) Novel GBS-Based SNP Markers for Finger Millet and Their Use in Genetic Diversity Analyses, Frontiers in Genetics 13

8)     Gebeyehu A, Hammenhag C, Tesfaye K, Vetukuri R, Ortiz R and Geleta M (2022) RNA-seq provides novel genomic resources for noug (Guizotia abyssinica) and reveals microsatellite frequency and distribution in its transcriptome. Frontiers in Plant Science 13:882136 

9)     Gebeyehu A, Hammenhag C, Ortiz R, Tesfaye K, Geleta M (2021) Characterization of oilseed crop noug (Guizotia abyssinica) using agro-morphological traits, Agronomy 11(8): 1479 

10)  Osterman J, Hammenhag C, Ortiz R, Geleta M (2021) Insights into the genetic diversity of Nordic red clover (Trifolium pratense) revealed by seqSNP-based genic markers, Frontiers in Plant Science 12 

Popular science contributions

1.      Gustafsson C and Lehrman A (2019). Framtidens gröna energi kan odlas i Norrland, Energivärlden

2. Hammenhag C (2021) Ärtan på frammarsch när efterfrågan på växtbaserat protein ökar (in Swedish), Sveriges Utsädesförenings tidskrift 2021:1

3. Hammenhag C, Sandin P, Zhu L, Stymne S and Geleta M, (2020) Fältkrassing - en framtida oljegröda för Norrland (in Swedish). Sveriges Utsädesförenings Tidskrift 2020:2

4.      Geleta M, Gustafsson C, Nadeau E, Ortiz R, Parsons D, Andersson A, Öhlund L. (2019) Genomic selection in red clover (Trifolium pratense): A research project funded by SLU Grogrund - Centre for Breeding Food Crops. Sveriges Utsädesförenings Tidskrift 2019:2

5. Pod cast Shaping our Food - En hel massa om arvsmassa 

6. Pod cast Shaping our Food - Metoder och tekniker i växtförädling

7. Pod Cast - På Landet


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