Saif-Allah Agha

Wilson Group, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Saif joined the team at the Roslin Institute in early 2021.

Current research

I have interests in a broad range of activities related to the genetic improvement of farm animals and aquaculture species. My research activities include analysing phenotypic and molecular genetics data using Bayesian and frequentist statistics, beside working in molecular genetics laboratories. I currently work on the ROBUST-SMOLT project. My role is to investigate the genotype environment (GxE) interaction in salmon and determine the genetic influence underlying growth and health in different environments.


Favourite aquaculture species

Tilapia and salmon.



I have graduated from the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. I occupy a teaching position in the same university. During my career, I have worked in 10 different research organisations in five countries as follows:

  • [2001-Present]     Ain Shams University (Egypt)
  • [2002]                      ConSDABI Research Institute (Italy)
  • [2005, 2008]          Molise University (Italy)
  • [2007]                      IRTA Research Institute (Spain)
  • [2009-2010]          Pavia University (Italy)
  • [2010-2011]          Catholic University (Italy)
  • [2011]                      EPFL University (Switzerland)
  • [2012-2013]          Cordoba University (Spain)
  • [2013-2015]          Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain)
  • [2015]                     Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh 
  • [2016-2019]          Ain Shams University (Egypt)
  • [2019-2020]          IRTA Research Centre (Spain)
  • [2021-Present]    Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh.


  • Bachelor of Science in Animal Production [2000]
  • Masters in Animal Breeding [2006]
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Breeding [2011].

I have received 11 grants from different international organisations, including The British Council, European Commission, and European Science Foundation. In 2019, I received the 'Most downloaded paper award' from the International Society of Animal Genetics (ISAG), for my first paper in aquaculture: Breeding for robustness: investigating the genotype-by-environment interaction and micro-environmental sensitivity of Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).   

You can access my paper through this external link.   


Interests, hopes and dreams

I enjoy learning languages very much. I speak four languages fluently (English, Spanish, Italian and Arabic) and that allows me to communicate easily with almost 1.15 billion persons around the world. I also love travelling and having friends from different countries. My dream is to travel around the world.