Sagadevan G. Mundree was born in Durban South Africa on the 1st November 1965. He graduated from the University of Durban–Westville (UDW) in 1988 with a B Paed(Sci) degree. He spent four years teaching biology at Arena Park Secondary in Chatsworth. During this period, he completed his BSc(Hons) degree in the Botany Department at UDW. In 1992, Sagadevan was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue his PhD studies in the Department of Botany and Microbiology at Auburn University (USA). During the subsequent four years, he investigated the molecular determinants of salinity stress tolerance using Nicotiana tabacum as a model plant.
During his PhD studies, Sagadevan received a number of accolades for academic excellence. Sagadevan returned to S.A. in 1997 and took up a Post–Doctoral position in the Botany Department at the University of Cape Town (UCT). In 1998, he was offered a lectureship in the above department. In 1999, he moved to the Microbiology Department where he developed his research further. His research focused on the molecular dissection of abiotic stress tolerance in plants using the monocotyledonous resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa as a model system. He received the Distinguished Teacher Award at UCT in 2004, and is a member of the South African Academy of Science.
Sagadevan has been inspired by the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in the biological sciences. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of PlantBio, the National Innovation Centre for Plant Biotechnology in 2004 where, together with the support of a highly dedicated Team he played a significant role in developing the Plant Biotechnology Sector in South Africa. Sagadevan was recruited by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries in February 2007 and led a Team that was responsible for the Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries´ Investments in Research, Development and Extension in all the primary industries of Queensland. Sagadevan is currently Professor and Director of the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities at Queensland University of Technology.