Bruce Walsh, Ph.D
Professor, Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Animal Sciences, Plant Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona
Member, BIO5 Institute
Research Interest: Bruce Walsh's interests are broadly in using mathematical models to explore the interface of genetics and evolution, with particular focus on two areas: the evolution of genome structure and the analysis of complex genetic characters (aka quantitative genetics).Bruce (along with Mike Lynch) is coauthor of Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits and the forthcoming Evolution and Selection of Quantitative Traits.
Iago Hale, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, University of New Hampshire
Research Interest: I am interested in the characterization, maintenance, and utilization of crop genetic diversity as means of enhancing small farm viability, rural livelihoods, food security, and ecosystem integrity. This is to say that my work in the fields of plant genetics and breeding (traditional and molecular) stems not from a basic but a decidedly applied research interest with significant socioeconomic and ecological implications. For me, crop improvement is fundamentally about increasing the options available to both growers and consumers within a context of dynamic market forces, increasing land-use pressures, and uncertain environmental factors.
Motivated by this larger framework, the research objectives of my integrated plant breeding and plant molecular genetics/genomics program are: 1) To increase agricultural opportunities in New England by developing and providing improved germplasm to producers; 2) To develop molecular markers and genetic resources to support my breeding work and that of the larger plant improvement community, particularly in developing countries; and 3) To contribute to our understanding of the genetic bases of key traits at various scales, from individual plants (e.g. disease resistance) to whole farm systems (e.g. weed suppression) to landscapes (e.g. nutrient uptake).
In the field, classical breeding methods remain necessary for the practical development and delivery of improved plant varieties. In the lab, trait dissection, gene mapping, gene characterization, and molecular marker development can provide valuable information and support to breeding efforts. The integration of these field and lab components in one program insures that my basic genetic research stays consistently grounded in real-world production and is pursued with a firm commitment toward deployment.