Fall 2022 International Plant Breeding Seminars

Scheduled Seminars

OCTOBER 6, 2022

Charlie Messina (Univ. of Florida) Crop improvement in a changing climate

OCTOBER 13, 2022

Colleen Doherty (NCSU): Plants at the center of change, climate consequences for crops and plant-based solutions

OCTOBER 20, 2022

Amanda Hulse-Kemp (NCSU-USDA) Interdisciplinary Collaborations to Build Genomic Selection Capacity for Public Cotton Breeding

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Mariano Alvarez (Avalo AI) Interpretable machine learning improves performance in association, discovery, and prediction

NOVEMBER 3, 2022

David Marshall (Scotland’s Rural College) Seeing is believing – data visualisation in genetics and breeding

NOVEMBER 10, 2022

Samar Sheat (Liebniz Institute DSMZ, Germany) Identifying resistance in cassava against the viruses causing cassava mosaic and cassava brown streak diseases

tomatoes in a basket

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Fall 2022 Speakers

Charlie Messina

Charlie Messina is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida. His program focuses on the development of prediction methods by integrating symbolic and sub-symbolic AI. His research place emphasis on genome-to-phenome modeling for the prediction of properties of complex traits, and improvement of crop adaptation to current and future climates. The program operates in close collaboration with Plant Breeders. His team evaluates and applies novel prediction methods within operational breeding programs. During his tenure at Corteva he contributed to the development of drought-tolerant maize in the US and Brazil and led the initiative on Circular Agriculture.

Colleen Doherty

Colleen Doherty is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry at NC State University. The Doherty Lab investigates the connections between time and stress in plants. The lab has two major research objectives. The first is to use time as a tool to interrogate the signaling networks that allow a plant to perceive and respond to stress. Secondly, the lab is interested in understanding how changes in temporal patterns (earlier springs, warmer nights) affect the productivity of crop species.

Amanda Hulse-Kemp

Amanda Hulse-Kemp is a USDA Assistant Professor with the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at NC State University. Her research specializes in genomics, breeding, computational biology, and bioinformatics, addressing biological questions that can be answered with computational analyses. The lab is particularly interested in resource development and integration of genomic and biotechnology tools and references that can benefit breeders, such as high-quality reference genome sequences for large range of agronomically important crops (i.e. cotton, spinach, pepper, coffee, and tomato) as well as animals.

Mariano Alvarez

Mariano is a co-founder of Avalo AI and holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of South Florida. He did his postdoctoral work at the Sultan lab at Wesleyan University and the Donohue lab at Duke University. Mariano is interested in how the environment and the genome interact to create interesting and/or adaptive phenotypes with a particular focus on how plasticity across time, space, and scale can influence adaptive dynamics and evolutionary trajectories. He is also broadly interested in the intersection of biology, informatics, and society, and is passionate about leveraging his work to mitigate climate change and enable more sustainable agriculture.

David Marshall

David Marshall is currently a Reader in Crop Informatics at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in Edinburgh.  His nearly 40-year career has focussed on plant genomics and understanding patterns of genetic diversity in plants. A major focus of his work to date has been developing and utilising software tools to analyze SNP variation in crop plants, genetic resources and breeding applications. He is internationally recognised for the development of visualisation approaches both to data pre-processing and resolving complex patterns of genetic diversity in a wide range of crop plants.

Samar Sheat

Samar Sheat is a research scientist at the Leibniz Institute German collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures in Germany. Her Ph.D. research in the Plant Virus Department of this Institute comprised virus studies to identify virus resistance in cassava against new ipomoviruses causing a serious disease that destroys tuberous roots of this important food crop. The virus resistance she found in cassava germplasm from South America protects the plant from infection with any of the ipomovirus isolates, thus provides complete immunity. Her current post-doctoral research is to develop efficient virus resistance screening workflows that can be used at scale to screen for virus resistance in seedlings from crosses between cassava mosaic virus resistant and cassava brown streak virus resistant genotypes.

Watch Spring 2022 Seminar Series