Professor Plant Biology, Institute of Plant Breeding, and Genetics and Genomics (Crop & Soil Science)

Basic Information

Personal Website:
Office:
Miller Plant Sciences, Rm 4107
Lab office:
Plant Sciences, Rm 4203
Lab phone:
706-542-4066
Research Interests:

The research in my lab is targeted on enhancing our understanding of the organization of grass genomes, in particular wheat, millets and switchgrass, a biofuel crop. This is done through genetic and genomic analyses in the target species themselves, as well as through comparative analyses between crop and sequenced model genomes.

Grants:
  • DOE, Co-PI, 10/01/17 – 09/30/22, Center for Bioenergy Innovation (Switchgrass Domestication Team).
  • NSF-BREAD, PI, 06/01/16 – 05/31/20, Development of essential genetic and genomic resources for finger millet.
  • USDA-SCRI, Co-PI, 09/01/15 – 08/31/20, Persistence, survival and recovery of warm-season turfgrass selections for sustainable urban landscapes under limited irrigation and long-term drought.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Co-PI, 10/01/15 – 09/30/19, PEARL: Unraveling the molecular genetics of finger millet blast disease and existing resistance for the development of high-yielding resilient varieties.
  • USDA-Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy Program, Co-PI, 10/01/15 – 09/30/18, Parallel analysis of Puccinia emaculata virulence and switchgrass resistance phenotypes.
  • DOE-Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy Program, PI, 09/01/13 – 08/31/19, Unraveling the genetics of two key biomass traits that differentiate upland and lowland tetraploid switchgrass ecotypes, colonization by mycorrhizal fungi and frost tolerance.
Education:

Ph.D Grass Comparative Genomics, State University Ghent, Belgium 1992

Of note:
  • Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America (2019)
  • Distinguished Visiting Scientist Fellowship, CSIRO (Jan – July 2018)
  • D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Research (2017)
  • UGA Creative Research Medal (2017)
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2016)
  • ISIS Fellowship (Dec. 2000 - March 2001)
  • STAFF Visiting Research Fellowship, Japan (Jan - March 1998)
  • BBSRC Fellowship (1996-2001)