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Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2007 • USDA Agricultural Research Service

Research Interests

My lab is primarily interested in the genetic improvement of Asteraceae to benefit humanity. In collaboration with our peers in EBIO, we are developing genomics-assisted breeding techniques that allow us to balance improvement in yield and nutritional aspects of the seed oil in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), while also improving plant host antibiosis or antixenosis to insect pests, plant suitability for insect pollinators, resistance to diseases, and resistance to abiotic stresses that are expected to increase in severity due to climate change. Similar work is beginning in the native prairie plants of the Silphium genus, which we are domesticating de novo to provide a sunflower like plant suitable for perennial permaculture in the future.