International Online Quinoa Research Symposium shares new research, indigenous knowledge, community

Screenshot of set of six zoom windows, with watching participants.
Participants from around the world take part in the virtual International Quinoa Research Symposium, held in summer 2020.

Focusing global attention on quinoa’s contribution to food security, nutrition, and sustainable production, more than 1,000 viewers from 52 countries took part in the International Quinoa Research Symposium (IQRS), hosted virtually at Washington State University, August 17-19, 2020,

The WSU Sustainable Seed Systems Lab (SSSL), in collaboration with the WSU Food Systems Program, co-produced the 2nd Symposium, showcasing diverse research presentations with leading experts worldwide during three days of bilingual, interactive talks, field walks, poster sessions, and forums.

Murphy, standing with student in greenhouse, handling quinoa.
WSU faculty member and quinoa breeder Kevin Murphy, left.

“We wanted to focus world attention on what quinoa brings to human health and nutrition, food security, sustainability, and holistic use,” said Kevin Murphy, associate professor at WSU and symposium co-organizer.

“We all believe that this crop has a big part to play in alleviating poverty, providing food security and boosting nutrition,” said event partner Sergio Núñez de Arco of Ardent Mills. “The Quinoa Symposium helped bring quinoa one step closer to regaining its status as a staple—an every-day food.”


The program included a recorded field walk with the Organic Seed Alliance, an informative Zine with quinoa recipes made in collaboration with Chile-based QuinoaLab, and the Culinary Breeding Network, an interactive poster session with 35 presenters led by Julianne Kellogg, interactive discussion forums, and 26 research sessions from leading experts in their fields on a wide range of topics including genomics, breeding, agronomy, phenotyping, ancestral knowledge, and market uses.

In total, 939 people from 52 countries registered for this bilingual event, with the largest contingencies from the United States, Perú, Bolivia, Chile, and Ecuador. The largest professional sectors included researchers, academics, and farmers.

Farmers shared quinoa production techniques and centuries-old indigenous wisdom on growing quinoa in its native regions. Scientists and researchers reported on cutting-edge findings, identifying gaps in knowledge, and establishing working relationships to advance quinoa research and development. A little over half of all attendees, or 51 percent, registered in Spanish.