Michael Abberton obtained his BSc and Ph.D. from the University of Manchester and carried out postdoctoral studies in Scotland and Malawi. In 1993 he obtained a position at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), Aberystwyth, UK. He was appointed as Programme Leader for Plant Breeding and Genetics and following the merger of Aberystwyth University in 2008 (creating the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)) he became Professor of Public Good Plant Breeding and Director of International Development. In 2012 he was appointed as Head, Genetic Resources Centre, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) a position he still holds. Subsequently, he was also appointed Head, Biosciences Centre and Deputy Director for West Africa and for Crop Improvement at IITA. In Jan 2021 he became Director, West Africa and for Crop Improvement.