About us


Makaneyyat ('mak') works to strengthen and build perennial agro-ecological landscapes in Palestine. We work to expand agro-biodiversity of landscapes to support communities of plants and people.

Makaneyyat translates roughly to spaces. It is the plural form of makaneyyah or spatiality and comes from the Arabic makan or place. This name reflects our interest in the importance of spatial relationships between landscape, micro-climates, plant life, and communities of producers and consumers.

Taking the landscape as our unit of analysis, our independent research project uses tools such as wild food plant conservation and collection, agroecological analysis, geospatial visualization and GIS, interviews, plant inventories, and study of candidate species for new crop development.

Founded in 2013, the research group has developed the following:

  • a cutting-edge online agro-ecological research engine
  • genebank: ex-situ seedbank and in-situ agro-biodiversity conservation areas
  • agro-ecological studies
  • landscape studies
  • peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Arabic/English guide: Palestinian Wild Food Plants (2018)
  • herbarium

We are currently working on:

  • protecting local agro-biodiversity by collecting and propagating plant material
  • publishing our research peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Palestinian Wild Food Plants, Vol. II
  • Collecting and selecting endemic species for crop development

Research initiatives

Agroecological Research Engine

We have developed a free and open source research platform for the generation, management, analysis, and visualization of agro-ecological data. This research platform provides a historically rich baseline for future specialized research on and in support of Palestinian agro-ecologies. The project has resulted in the creation of our local research program inspired by the growing movement of open information structures. Deploying cutting-edge tools in field-based, geospatial, and qualitative research methods, we are developing a model for collaborative and open research in the region.


Wild Food Plant Conservation and New Crop Development

We are working to conserve agro-biodiversity, wild food plants, and develop new crops in Palestine. Since 2017, we have built a genebank for the ex-situ and in-situ conservation and propagation of wild food plants. We are collecting and regenerating edible wild plants across several sites in Palestine in collaboration with local partner organizations and the assistance of global partners. We hope that these plants will provide the basis for agroecological transformation and development of new grain and cover crop polycultures in Palestine.

Research team

Omar Imseeh Tesdell, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (ORCiD)
Yusra Othman, Researcher
Mary Deeik, Researcher
Fouad Muaddi, Research consultant
Hanan Zahran, Research consultant

Majd Al-Shihabi, Research fellow, 2020-2021 (personal website)

Research team alumni
Saher Alkhoury
Yara Dowani
Sameer Khraishi

Software development
Our development partners from 2015-2019, al-fardthakh in Amman, Jordan, enabled us to customize an existing open API and build the Makaneyyat agro-ecological engine.

Funding partner

Makaneyyat is generously supported by the Palestinian-American Research Center (PARC).