Spring 2023 International Plant Breeding Seminars

Scheduled Seminars

MARCH 30, 2023

Jeff Dunne (NC State University) Improving Breeding Efficiencies through the Deployment of Open-Source Web Applications

APRIL 6, 2023

Jean-Luc Jannink (Cornell University): The road to genomic prediction in cassava

APRIL 13, 2023

Guillaume Bauchet (Terre de Lin, France) Flax breeding, from past to future, adapting to a changing environment

APRIL 20, 2023

Alexandre Aono (UNICAMP) Plant Genetic Diversity: Integrated Strategy for Understanding, Exploiting and Conserving It

APRIL 27, 2023

Rubén Rellán-Álvarez (NC State University) Lessons from the genetics of local adaptation of native maize varieties and wild maize relatives

MAY 4, 2023

Robert Henry (The University of Queensland) Domestication of species using molecular means

tomatoes in a basket

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Spring 2023 Speakers

Jeff Dunne

Jeff completed his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in Crop and Soil Sciences with an emphasis in Turfgrass Management. Fun fact, while attending Michigan State University, Jeff played Division-I ice hockey for the Spartans and won a National Championship in 2007. He was also selected as an Academic All-American in 2008. After a brief stint in the professional hockey ranks, Jeff returned to Michigan State University and completed a master’s degree in Crop and Soil Sciences, focusing on Plant Breeding and Biotechnology. In 2012, moved to North Carolina and began his graduate work at North Carolina State University where he was accepted as a Monsanto Fellow in Plant Breeding. As a part of this fellowship program, Jeff completed a second master’s degree from the Institute for Advanced Analytics before continuing on to his PhD work with Dr. Susana Milla-Lewis in Turfgrass Breeding and Genetics where his research focused on bermudagrass shade and freezing tolerance. Following the completion of his PhD, Jeff worked with Dr. Jim Holland (USDA-ARS) in Maize Phenomics working on haplotype prediction methods in a nested association panel. In 2018, Jeff accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department at North Carolina State University. Jeff is the Severn and Hampton Farms Endowed Fellow in Peanut Breeding and Genetics.

Jean-Luc Jannink

Jean-Luc Jannink is an Adjunct Professor at Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Breeding and Genetics Section and a Research Geneticist at the USDA-ARS Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health. His primary focus is on developing statistical methods to use DNA markers in public sector small grains breeding.

Guillaume Bauchet

Guillaume Bauchet is a flax breeder with Terre de Lin. He is also a geneticist, agronomist and plant biologist. His work experience is in breeding program management, breeding software deployment, statistical genetics, R programming, and evaluation of genetic resources. He is familiar with the current software and molecular techniques including sequencing and genotyping and their use for phenotypic trait dissection.

Alexandre Aono

Alexandre Aono is a driven graduate student with a passion for bioinformatics and computational biology. He received his Bachelor of Science in both Science and Technology and Computer Science with first-class honors from the Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil. Alexandre is currently pursuing his PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP). Throughout his academic journey, Alexandre has developed a diverse range of skills and experience in several areas such as omics data analysis, statistical modeling, machine learning, image processing, and complex networks. He has also completed a one-year internship at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, where he gained valuable insights into the latest developments in the field of quantitative genetics. Alexandre’s research focuses on omics integration and genomic prediction methodologies for plant breeding purposes, which he is pursuing through his PhD program. He has published several research papers in leading scientific journals and has been actively involved in various academic and research projects throughout his career.

Rubén Rellán-Álvarez

Ruben Rellan-Alvarez’s research focuses on deciphering the genetic and physiological mechanisms underlying metabolism reorganization in plants during adaptation to abiotic stresses including suboptimal temperatures and nutrient concentrations. The lab uses a combination of quantitative and population genetics together with high-precision metabolic phenotyping to identify loci that have been under selection during adaptation to particular environments and that are involved in the determination of metabolic traits. The lab then uses reverse genetics, and heterologous expression to functionally characterize the allelic effects of candidate genes. In particular, the lab is using maize glycerolipid remodeling during the process of maize adaptation to different highland environments across the Americas as our study system. Using the approaches above together with maize landrace mapping populations grown in highland and lowland common garden fields in México, the lab has identified loci that explain distinct glycerolipid patterns in highland maize. The lab is currently functionally characterizing these loci with the goal of understanding their contribution to maize adaptation to highland conditions and transferring beneficial alleles to modern maize varieties.

Robert Henry

Professor Henry, is a graduate of the University of Queensland, B Sc (Hons), Macquarie University, M Sc (Hons) and La Trobe University (Ph D). In 2000 Professor Henry was awarded a higher doctorate (D Sc) by UQ for his work on analysis of variation in plants.

He is currently Professor of Innovation in Agriculture. Before being appointed QAAFI Director (May 2010-September 2020), he was Director of the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics at Southern Cross University, a centre which he established in 1996. Other previous positions held by Professor Henry include Research Director of the Grain Foods Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) (until 2010) and Research Program Leader in the Queensland Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (until 1996).

Professor Henry’s speciality research area is the study of agricultural crops using molecular tools. He is particularly interested in Australian flora and plants of economic and social importance and has led the way in research into genome sequencing to capture novel genetic resources for the diversification of food crops to deliver improved food products.