2021 International Plant Breeding Seminar Series

Spring 2021 Seminars

Fund Our Work

Support our efforts to advance international plant breeding research, education, and outreach.

Funds supporting the International Plant Breeding Enhancement Fund are collected and managed by The North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax id 56-6049304. You will receive an official receipt for your donation.

Speakers

Dr. Craig Yencho

  • Current role: NC State University William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor; Program Leader Sweetpotato and Potato Breeding and Genetics Programs.
  • Previous roles after graduate school: I served as Senior Research Fellow with Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, Colombia, and Research Associate, Dept. of Plant Breeding, Cornell University.
  • Where did you attend graduate school? Ph.D., Entomology/Plant Breeding (Minor), Cornell University and MS, Entomology, Washington State University
  • Where did you grow up? I grew up in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania called Conyngham which is located near the Pocono Mtns and the intersection of Interstate Routes I-80 and I-81.
  • What is a particular side of you people should know? I grew up the son of a truck and bus company owner/operator and have been working around cars, trucks and all other kinds of equipment since I was a young kid. I think these skills have really helped me during the course of my plant breeding career both in terms of connecting with farmers and working with and managing equipment and people in the field.

Dr. Hugo Campos

  • Current role: Director of Research at the International Potato Center
  • Previous roles after graduate school: I served for many years at diverse roles with Monsanto (currently Bayer), Pioneer Hi-Bred (currently Corteva), and Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (Brazil). Did MBA and Executive Education part-time teaching in Brazil, Peru, and Chile
  • Where did you attend graduate school? Ph. D. at the John Innes Centre, UK, MBA at the Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile
  • Where did you grow up? Between Chile and Argentina
  • What is a particular side of you people should know? I am a keen runner of 10K and half-marathons. Too bad that because of COVID-19 such is on hold at the moment…

Dr. Jorge Carlos Berny Mier y Teran

  • Current role: Breeding and technical manager, World Coffee Research. Based in Mexico
  • Previous roles after graduate school:
    • Between my MSc and PhD – Researcher for INIFAP in Mexico for ~years, pepper and bean breeding and genetic resources.
    • Postdoctoral scholar –  University of California Davis. Bean and tomato genetics and breeding.
  • Where did you attend graduate school?
    • Undergrad: Instituto Tecnologico Agropecuario. Conkal, Yuctatan, Mexico.
    • MSc: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel
    • University of California – Davis
  • Where did you grow up?
    • Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
  • What is a particular side of you people should know? Doing crosses and sailing are my favorite activities

Dr. Asrat Asfaw Amele

  • Current role: Yam breeding program lead at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
  • Previous roles after graduate school: Served for over 20 years in crop breeding, breeding program management, and agricultural development at various roles in national and international research systems. Served as the chief officer at district agricultural development office in Ethiopia, breeder and breeding program lead with NARS in Ethiopia, and potato breeder in Africa with international potato center (CIP).
  • Where did you attend graduate school? Ph.D. at Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), The Netherlands; MSc in plant breeding and genetics at CCS Haryana University, India, and BSc in plant science at Alemaya Agricultural University (current Haramaya University), Ethiopia
  • Where did you grow up? Ethiopia

Dr. Michel Ragot

  • Current role: Managing Director at Nouvelle France Genetics LLC, a plant breeding and technology consulting practice; and Chief Business Officer at DeltaGee SAS, a data-based decision-making support partner for genetics and breeding
  • Previous roles after graduate school: Several roles, from scientist to research manager, with Syngenta and legacy companies (Ciba Seeds, Novartis Seeds), spanning many field and horticultural crops, and from local to global responsibilities.
  • Where did you attend graduate school? MSc at AgroParisTech in Paris, France, PhD at NCSU
  • Where did you grow up? In Western France
  • What is a particular side of you people should know? I am an unconditional enthusiast of one of the simplest, lightest, longest-produced cars in the world: the Citroën 2CV, and one of its derivatives, the Méhari, both briefly sold in the US about half a century ago. As connoisseurs say, these cars are not cars but a lifestyle.

Dr. Sarah McNeil

  • Current role: Lead plant breeding activities, field production, and grain handling for biotech plants for human health and therapeutics; Director of Plant Line Development and Genetics
  • Previous roles after graduate school: Breeding hybrid and varietal wheat in the hard red winter wheat region from Texas to Montana, and leading marker-assisted selection and genomic selection for all North America Syngenta wheat breeding programs; Central Plains Lead Wheat Breeder and North America Wheat Genetic Project Lead – Syngenta in AgriPro wheat group
  • Where did you attend graduate school? BS and MSc: Oklahoma State University; Ph.D. – Kansas State University and CIMMYT, Mexico
  • Where did you grow up? Hennessey, Oklahoma, USA
  • What is a particular side of you people should know? I enjoy hybridizing daylilies in my garden