Skip to main content
Skip to main menu

Slideshow

John M. Burke

Distinguished Research Professor & Department Head
Plant Biology
Lab:
Miller Plant Sciences, Rm 4604
Lab Phone:
706-583-5510
Office:
Miller Plant Sciences, Rm 4615/17
Office Phone:

Dr. Burke grew up in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota as an undergraduate, earning a B.S. in Genetics & Cell Biology (1993). He later received a Ph.D. in Genetics (1999) from the University of Georgia before conducting postdoctoral research at Indiana University. In 2002, he joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University, and in 2006 he returned to UGA as a faculty member in Plant Biology. In 2019, he was named a Distinguished Research Professor, and in 2020 he took over as Head of Plant Biology. His lab studies the origin and evolution of crop plants, with a current focus on adaptation to stressful environments.

Research Interests:

Our primary focus is plant evolutionary genetics and genomics. More specifically, we're studying the genetic basis of evolutionary divergence within the sunflower family (i.e., the Compositae or the Asteraceae). We also maintain an interest in the ecological and evolutionary impact of transgene escape from genetically modified crops into their wild relatives.

Grants:
  • USDA-NIFA Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grants (BRAG) Program (Award #2016-33522-25630). Short-term experiments as predictors of long-term patterns of gene introgression in crop-wild hybrids. 09/01/2016-08/31/2019. (lead PI w/1 co-PI).

  • NSF Plant Genome Research Program (Award #IOS-1444522). 08/15/15-07/31/20. Evolutionary genomics of abiotic stress resistance in wild and cultivated sunflowers. (lead PI w/5 co-PIs).

  • Genome Canada – Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition. 10/01/15-09/30/19. Genomics of abiotic stress resistance in wild and cultivated sunflowers. $7,879,009 (co-Project Leader w/6 co-PIs).
  • Industry Consortium. 01/15/12-01/14/19. Sunflower genomic resources. $840,000 (one of 3 co-PIs; $280,000 to UGA w/additional funds under negotiation).
Education:

1994-1999     Ph.D. in Genetics, University of Georgia
1989-1993     B.S. in Genetics and Cell Biology, Minor in Statistics, University of Minnesota
 

Of note:

University of Georgia Distinguished Research Professor (2019)

University of Georgia Lothar Tresp Outstanding Honors Professor (2017)

University of Georgia Sandy Beaver Excellence in Teaching Award (2016)

National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences (2013)

University of Georgia Creative Research Medal (2013)

Articles Featuring John M. Burke
Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 2:42pm

Congratulations to John Burke for being named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)! This award recognizes leading scientists for their research and leadership in their field. John was recognized for his "outstanding…

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 6:08pm

After six years of exemplary leadership, Lisa Donovan handed over the reigns of the Plant Biology Department to John Burke on August 1st, 2020. During her tenure Lisa led the Department to new heights and was also instrumental in envisioning and implementing…

Friday, July 10, 2020 - 11:31am

John Burke and Lisa Donovan along with colleagues from British Columbia uncovered a set of "supergenes" that help sunflowers adapt to different environments and are contributing to the amazing diversity in sunflower species today. Because the wild species…

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 4:00pm

Dr. John Burke was recently awarded the title of "Distinguished Research Professor." This title is awarded to faculty who are internationally recognized for their original contributions to knowledge and whose work promises to foster continued creativity in…

Lab Personnel

Postdoctoral Research Associate

My Graduate Students


Max Barnhart

Graduate Student

Ashley Earley

Graduate Student

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Give Now

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.