Student Research

Current graduate students in Applied Plant Sciences are involved with a variety of fascinating research projects. Click the links below to read about their research as presented in seminars. All links are .PDF files.

Seminars presented in 2017-18

  • Emmanuel Adeyemo, M.S. student advised by Dr. Rex Bernardo, Title: Predicting Genetic Variance from Genomewide Marker Effects in Maize. 
  • Jessica Coburn, M.S. student advised by Drs. Scotty Wells and Deborah Samac, Title: Increasing the Marketability of Alfalfa Through Sustainable Aquafeeds.
  • Garett Heineck, Ph.D. student advised by Drs. Eric Watkins and Nancy Ehlke, Title: Perennial Ryegrass in Minnesota: Meta-Analysis Breeding Methods and a Microbe.
  • Nicole Mihelich, M.S. student advised by Dr. Robert Stupar, Title: Evaluation of Wild and Cultivated Soybean Whole Genome Resequencing for Genotype Identy and Candidate Gene Discovery. 
  • Alexander Susko, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Kevin Smith, Title: Motel 6? Airbnb? A Practical to Futuristic Look at Lodging for Oats and Other Small Grains.

Seminars presented in 2016-17

  • Jaser Aljaser, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Neil Anderson, Title: Breeding Gladiolus for Cycle 1 Flowering.
  • Kayla Altendorf, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Jim Anderson, Title: Domestication Trait Mapping and Sub-genome Progenitor Identification in Intermediate Wheatgrass.
  • Heidi Anderson, M.S. student advised by Dr. Mary Rogers, Title: Effects of Low Tunnel Plastic Type on Organic Production of Day-Neutral Strawberries in an Organic Production System.
  • Sabrina Badger, Ph.D. student advised by Drs. Daniel Kaiser and Scotty Wells, Title: Economic, Environmental, and Social Impacts on Agricultural Systems in Minnesota and the Republic of Georgia
  • Elizabeth Blissett, Ph.D. student advised by Drs. James Luby and Rex Bernardo, Title: Breeding the Next Honeycrisp Apple with Genomewide Markers.
  • Rebekah Carlson, M.S. student advised by Drs. Donald Wyse and Scotty Wells, Title: Continuous Living Cover Using Winter Annual and Perennial Species in Corn and Soybean Rotation.
  • Austin Dobbels, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Aaron Lorenz, Title: High Throughput Pheyotyping of Soybean Iron Deficiency Chlorosis Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
  • Charles Frahm, M.S. student advised by Dr. Craig Sheaffer, Title: An Analysis of the Morphological Development of Intermediate Wheatgrass as a Perennial Grain.
  • Katrina Freund, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Craig Sheaffer, Title: Cultivation of Native and Naturalized Minnesota Plants for Their Seed, Biomass, Natural Products and Ecosystem Services.
  • Erin Gilbert, M.S. student advised by Dr. Aaron Lorenzz, Title: a Genome-Wide Analysis of the USDA Soybean Isoline Collection.
  • Mark Holmes, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Candice Hirsch, Title: Improving Food Corn by Trait Discovery, Association Mapping, and GxE of Kernel Composition.
  • Vijaya Joshi, Ph.D. student advised by Drs. Axel Garcia y Garcia and Jeffrey Coulter, Title: Combining Crop Simulation Model and Remote Sensing Tools for In-Season Nitrogen Management in Corn.
  • Leanna Leverich, M.S. student advised by Dr. Daniel Kaiser, Title: Optimizing Phosphorus Management to Maximize Yields and Reduce P Loss in Corn-Soybean Systems.
  • Alexander Liebman, M.S. student advised by Drs. Julie Grossman and Nicholas Jordan, Title: Legume and Soil Organic Matter Transformation in Upper Midwest Agroecosystems.
  • Ryan Merry, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Robert Stupar, Title: Fine Mapping of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis and Canopy Wilt Tolerance QTL from the Soybean Landrace ‘Fiskeby III.’
  • Liz Perkus, M.S. student advised by Dr. Julie Grossman, Title: The Soil at the End of the Tunnel: Soil Health and Cover Cropping in High Tunnels.
  • Sharon Perrone, M.S. student advised by Dr. Julie Grossman, Title: Nitrogen Contributions from Winter Annual Legumes Cover Crops in the Upper Midwest.
  • John Hill Price, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Kevin Smith, Title: Breeding and Trait Mapping Towards the Domestication of Silphium integrifolium.
  • Yinjie Qiu, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Eric Watkins, Title:  Breeding for Snow Mold Resistance in Low-Input Turfgrasses.
  • Yahya Rauf, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Jim Anderson, Title: Genetic Relationship of Adult Plant Resistance to Wheat Rusts and Validation of a Stem Rust QTL.
  • Ilse Renner, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Vincent Fritz, Title: Evaluating the Influence of Weed Canopy on Phytochemical Content in Cabbage.
  • Jared Rubinstein, M.S. student advised by Dr. Mary Rogers, Title: Evaluation of Different Methods of Mycorrhizal Inoculation of Day-neutral Strawberries in an Organic Production System.
  • Seth Wannemuehler, M.S. student advised by Drs. Chengyan Yue and Jim Luby, Title: Cost-benefit Analysis of M.A.S.S. in Resaceous Crops.
  • Sofia Brandariz Zerboni, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Rex Bernardo, Title: Genomewide Selection in Maize, Down the Road.

Seminars Presented in 2015-2016

  • Alex Brohammer, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Candice Hirsch, Title: An Integrated Genomic and Phenomic Approach to Evaluate and Exploit Maize Genetic Diversity for Crop Improvement
  • Hsueh-Yuan Chang, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Cindy Tong, Title: Fruit Crispness Maintenance of Honeycrisp and Its Progeny
  • Rafael Della Coletta, M.S. student advised by Dr. David Garvin, Title: Genetic Analysis of Non-Host Resistance to Wheat Stem Rust (Puccina graminis f.sp. tritici) in Brachypodium distachyon
  • Gregory Diersen, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Nicholas Jordan, Title: Novel Mechanisms of Biological Weed Inhibition Effected by Common Mycorrhizal Networks
  • Michelle Dobbratz, M.S. student advised by Drs. John Baker and Julie Grossman, Title: Novel Tillage Approaches for Kura Clover Living Mulch Management
  • Peyton Ginakes, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Julie Grossman, Title: Innovative Cover Cropping Strategies to Enhance Soil Quality in Reduced-Till Organic Production
  • Christopher Haugen, M.S. student advised by Dr. Stan Hokanson, Title: Application of Plant Growth Regulators on Ornamental Plants in the Commercial Landscape
  • Dnyaneshwar Kadam, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Aaron Lorenz, Title: Optimization of Genomic Prediction of Hybrid Performance in Maize
  • Jeffrey Neyhart, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Kevin Smith, Title: Leveraging Novel Genomics Techniques in a New Two-Row Barley Breeding Program
  • Nicholas Wiering, M.S. student advised by Drs. Nancy Ehlke and Craig Sheaffer, Title: Hairy Vetch: Breeding for Cover Crop systems
  • Mattthew Ott, M.S. student advised by Dr. Donald Wyse, Title: Evaluating Thlaspi arvense (pennycress) and Camelina sative (winter camelina) for the Benefits of Water Quality and Clean Energy
  • Daniel Raskin, M.S. student advised by Drs. Julie Grossman and Scott Wells, Title: Integrating Grass-Legume Forages and Short-Season Grain Corn Into Double-Cropping Systems
  • Amritpal Singh, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Aaron Lorenz, Title: Genetic Analysis of Resistance to Goss's Bacterial Wilt and Leaf Blight in North American Maize
  • Zenith Tandukar, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Gary Muehlbauer, Title: Positional Cloning and Functional Analysis of Glossy Mutants in Barley (Hordeum vulgare)
  • Zane Walker, M.S. student advised by Dr. Jeffrey Coulter, Title: Improving Nitrogen Management in Alfalfa-Corn Cropping Systems

Seminars Presented in 2014-2015

  • Kayla Altendorf, M.S. student advised by Drs. James Anderson and Donald Wyse, Title: Characterization of Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) Germplasm as a New Oilseed Cover Crop
  • Camila Alves, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Alan Smith, Title: Arabinogalactan Proteins and Regulation of Pollen Tube Growth in Nicotiana
  • Nick Ames, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Rex Bernardo, Title: Genome by Environment Interaction and Genomewide Predictions in 969 Maize Biparental Populations
  • Samadangla Ao, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Jeffrey Coulter, Title: Physiological Basis of Corn Response to Drough Stress and Nitrogen Sypply
  • Emily Conley, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. James Anderson, Title: Genome-wide prediction of Fusarium head blight resistance and agronomic performance traits in Minnesota wheat lines
  • Austin Dobbels, M.S. student advised by Drs. Seth Naeve and Robert Stupar, Title: Screening Fast-Neutron Soybean Lines for Seed Composition Traits
  • Emily Ellingson, M.S. student advised by Dr. Stan Hokanson, Title: Evaluating the Genetic Diversity and Landscape Potential of Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis), A Minnesota Endangered Conifer
  • Claire Flavin, M.S. student advised by Drs. Craig Sheaffer and Nancy Ehlke, Title: Hairy Vetch: An Early-flowering Winter Hardy Cover Crop for Minnesota
  • Jared Goplen, M.S. student advised by Drs. Craig Sheaffer and Jeffrey Gunsolus, Title: Utilizing Emergence Models for Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) Management
  • Garett Heineck, M.S. student advised by Drs. Eric Watkins and Nancy Ehlke, Title: Exploring the Possibility of Multi-Year Perennial Ryegrass Production in Minnesota
  • Nicholas Howard, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Jim Luby, Title: Genetic Variation for Postharvest Qualities and Physiological Disorders and Association with DNA Markers in University of Minnesota Apple Breeding Program
  • Sarah Kostick, M.S. student advised by Drs. Emily Hoover and Neil Anderson, Title: Invasive Potential of Prunus species in Minnesota
  • Madeline Leslie, M.S. student advised by Dr. Brian Horgan, Title: Extension and Outreach Strategies to Promote Public Awareness of Low-Input Lawns
  • Long Ma Sr., Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Eric Watkins, Title: Assessing the Potential of Breeding for Enhanced Allelopahty in Low-input Turfgrasses
  • Jean-Michel Michno, M.S. student advised by Dr. Robert Stupar, Title: Using Engineered Nucleases for Crop Improvement: Optimization of CRISPR/Cas9 System for Use in Glycine max
  • Reagan Noland. Ph.D. student advised by Dr. M. Scott Wells, Title: Enhancing Sustainable Benefits of Perenniality in Agricultural Systems Through Adaptive Crop Management Practices and Technologies
  • Andrew Petran, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Emily Hoover, Title: A Comprehensive Study on Day-Neutral Strawberry Production in the Upper Midwest
  • Joshua Sleper, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Rex Bernardo, Title: Genomewide Selection for Correlated Traits Within Biparental Crosses in Maize
  • Matt Pfarr, M.S. student advised by Dr. Seth Naeve, Title: Evaluation of Environmental Conditions on Soybean Quality
  • Alexander Susko, M.S. student advised by Dr. Stan Hokanson, Title: A Road Map Towards High pH Adaptability: Phenomic and Genomic Approaches to Azalea Breeding (Rhododendron spp.)
  • Aimee Talbot, M.S. student advised by Dr. Mary Rogers, Title: Insect pest management strategies in organic brassica production
  • Tyler Tiede, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Kevin Smith, Title: Empirical Evaluation of Genomic Selection Strategies for Parents and Progeny in Traditional and Wild-Relative Derived Breeding Populations
  • Eric Wilson, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Seth Naeve, Title: Maximization of Soybean Yield While Mitigating Environmental Stress
  • Lu Yin, M.S. student advised by Dr. Kevin Smith, Title: Resolving Grain Protein from Other Traits (Disease Resistance) on Barley Chromosome 6H

Seminars presented in 2013-2014

  • Nicholas Ames, M.S. student advised by Dr. Gary Muehlbauer, Title: Leveraging Wild Germplasm: Surveying the Wilderness for Novel Powdery Mildew Resistance in Hordeum Vulgare ssp spontaneum
  • Kevin Anderson, Ph.D. student advised by Drs. Gregg Johnson and Donald Wyse, Title: Integrating Winter Annual Covers with Corn and Soybean Crops in the Upper Midwest
  • Karl Butenhoff, M.S. student advised by Dr. James Orf, Title: Identification of QTL Associated with Abiotic Stresses in Soybean.
  • Clemon Dabney III, M.S. student advised by Dr. Eric Watkins, Title: Making Turf More Sustainable Through Breeding for Beneficial Rhizosphere Ecology.
  • Patrick Ewing, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Nicholas Jordan, Title: Optimizing Row-Crop Soil Environment to Nurture Beneficial Fungi and Tighten Nutrient Cycling Using Precision Zonal Management
  • Thomas Kono, Ph.D. student advised by Drs. Peter Morrell and Robert Stupar, Title: The Role of Deleterious Mutations in Crop Genomes.
  • Annie Doberstein, M.S. student advised by Dr. Vincent Fritz, Title: The Effects of Sulfur and Selenium Chemopreventive Compounds in Broccoli
  • Molly Kreiser, M.S. student advised by Drs. Jerry Cohen and Donald Wyse, Title: Hormonal Roadblocks to Rooting in Hybrid Hazelnuts.
  • David Munter, M.S. student advised by Drs. Neil Anderson and James Luby, Title: Prickly Ash: The Minnesota Citrus
  • Hannah Swegarden, M.S. student advised by Drs. Thomas Michaels and Craig Sheaffer, Tit;e: Potential Gain from Selection in Heirloom Dry Beans

Seminars presented in 2012-2013

  • Justin Anderson, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Bob Stupar, Title: Gene Therapy for Soybeans: New Technologies for Enhancing Disease Resistance.
  • Prabin Bajgain, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Jim Anderson, Title: Mapping Stem Rust Resistance in Wheat
  • Yong Bao, Ph.D. student advised by Drs. Jim Orf and Nevin Young, Title: Geonome-wide Dissection and Predictive Modeling for Agronomic Traits and Disease Resistance in a Diverse Panel of Soybean Germplasm
  • Benjamin Campbell, Ph.D. student advised by Drs. Bob Stupar and Jim Orf, Title: Utilization of Soybean Mutants for Crop Improvement
  • Celeste Falcon, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Kevin Smith, Title: Implementing Association Mapping and Genomic Selection to Advance Breeding for Complex Traits in Barley
  • Adria Fernandez, Ph.D. student advised by Drs. Craig Sheaffer and Donald Wyse, Title: Metagenomic Analysis of Soil Bacterial Communities Under Long-Term Organic Management
  • Jared Goplen, M.S. student advised by Drs. Craig Sheaffer, Jeffrey Gunsolus and Roger Becker. Title: Crop Rotation Strategies for the Management of Herbicide-Resistant Giant Ragweed
  • JoAnn Herran, M.S. student advised by Dr. Jim Orf, Title: Identification of QTL(s) Associated with Resistance to Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) in Soybean.
  • Amy Jacobson, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Rex Bernardo, Title: Genomewide Prediction Within Untested and Non-existing Biparental Crosses in Maize
  • Lisa Marie Krchov, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Rex Bernardo, Title: Multi-environment Validation Experiments to Assess the Accuracy of Phenotypic and Genomewide Selection Within Biparental Doubled Haploid Breeding Populations.
  • Lian Lian, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Rex Bernardo, Title: Accuracy of Genome-wide Prediction in 1000 Biparental Maize Populations.
  • Andrew Petran, M.S. student advised by Dr. Emily Hoover, Title: Cross Species Grafting to Improve Environmental Tolerance of Tomatoes Grown in the Tropics.
  • Bryan Runck, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Paul Porter, Title: Agroecological education: Re-imagining learning landscapes.
  • Ahmad Sallam, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Kevin Smith, Title: Genomic Selection and Model Accuracy in Barley for FHB Resistance, DON Accumulation, Plant Height, and Yield.
  • Kathryn Turner, Ph.D. student advised by Dr. Jim Anderson, Title: Identifying Leaf Rust Resistance in Diverse Accessions and Cultivars of Wheat
  • Matt Yost, Ph.D. student advised by Jeff Coulter and Michael Russell, Title: Improving Prediction and Adoption of Alfalfa Nitrogen Credits.

Seminars presented in 2011-2012

  • James Eckberg, Ph.D. student and IGERT Fellow - advised by Drs. Gregg Johnson and Donald Wyse, Title: Integrative Perennial Cropping Systems to Improve Biological Control of the Soybean Aphid
  • Josh Friell, Ph.D. student - advised by Drs. Eric Watkins and Brian Horgan, Title: Development of Salt-tolerant Turfgrass Mixes for Roadsides
  • Ana Gonzales, Ph.D. student - advised by Dr. Peter Morrell, Title: Genetic Provenance of Barley Diversity
  • Leticia Kumar, M.S. student - advised by Dr. Kevin Smith, Title: Use of Genome-wide Markers to Predict Fusarium Head Blight Resistance in Barley
  • Godwin Macharia, Ph.D. student and Beachell/Borlaug Fellow - advised by Dr. Jim Anderson, Title: Molecular Diversity, Linkage Disequilibrium and Genetic Mapping in East African Wheat
  • Juan Mayta, Ph.D. student - advised by Dr. Jim Orf, Title: Identification of QTL Associated with Resistance to White Mold in Soybeans
  • Landon Ries, Ph.D. student and United Soybean Board Fellow - advised by Drs. Jim Orf and Seth Naeve, Title: Refining Seeding Rate Recommendations for United States Soybean Production and Investigating the Genetics of Soybean Composition
  • Alicia Rihn, Ph.D. student - advised by Dr. Chengyan Yue, Title: Improving the Marketability of Horticultural Products: Communicating to the Consumer
  • Chris Schaefer, Ph.D. student and Pioneer Fellow - advised by Dr. Rex Bernardo, Title: Population Structure and Association Mapping in the Historical University of Minnesota Corn Germplasm
  • Vikas Vikram, Ph.D. student - advised by Dr. Kevin Smith, Title: Implementing Association Mapping and Genomic Selection in Barley Breeding Program