Cool Pics
Data & Germplasm
Principal Investigator
Dr. Sherry Flint-Garcia
USDA-ARS Research Geneticist and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Division of Plant Sciences.

301 Curtis Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-884-0116

Ph.D. Genetics Area Program; University of Missouri
B.A. Biology; Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Current Lab Members

Susan Melia-Hancock, USDA-ARS Biological Sciences Technician (2007-present)

Extensive expertise in the nursery, especially in identifying mutants and interesting phenotypes.

Jim Elder, USDA-ARS Biological Sciences Technician (2018-present)

Wide ranging expertise, from molecular biology to operating field research equipment, and everything in between!

Nancy Salazar Vidal, Post-doct (2018-present)

Nancy is a native of Irapuato, Mexico, and received her PhD with Ruairidh Sawers at LANGEBIO working on phosphate in maize. She is working on the NSF-funded Maize Highland Adaptation Project (HiLo), conducting QTL mapping in two populations highland x lowland landraces, one from Mexico and one from South America. She is an expert at large scale data collection at our three HiLo field sites in Puerto Vallarta (low elevation), Ameca (mid elevation), and Metepec (high elevation).

Adam Bray, PhD Student (2015-present)

Adam is a PhD student at Mizzou, but works at the Danforth Center under the direction of Chris Topp. His project involves studying root phenotypes in the NAM founders and various sub-populations, a number of root mutants, and various population selected for root and drought phenotypes.

Abiskar Gyawali, PhD Student (2018-present)

Abi is a native of Nepal, and is a PhD student working on various projects involving selection response. His first project was divergent selection for plant height in the Shoepeg landrace. He is currently working on the NILAS project as part of the maize ATLAS project, examining whether there are pleiotropic effects of photoperiod QTL and on related and unrelated traits, as well as the effect of linkage between photoperiod QTL and other traits.

Melanie Carraher (2018-present)

Melanie is a Plant Sciences student studying Breeding, Biology and Biotechnology. She also loves horticulture and gardening as much as several other plant-aholics in the lab!

Lab Alumni

Jason Cook (2009-1012)

Postdoctoral Fellow who worked on the NSF-funded project "Genetic Architecture of Maize and Teosinte." After a short stint at NCSU, Jason worked as a wheat breeder in industry for several years, and is now at Montana State University working on the development of a wheat NAM population.

Zhengbin Liu (2011-2014)

Postdoctoral Fellow. A native of China, Zhengbin worked on the NSF-funded project "Genetic Architecture of Maize and Teosinte." His projects involved the analysis of kernel shape/weight and leaf traits in the Teosinte NILs. Zhengbin moved to St. Louis for a post-doc in Chris Topp's lab at the Danforth Center, and recently accepted a position with Partek Software in St. Louis.

Ginnie Morrison (2013-2016)

Postdoctoral Fellow who worked on the NSF-funded project "Biology of Rare Alleles in Maize and its Wild Relatives. She received her PhD from the University of Texas. She has never worked with corn before, but was always really excited to work on inbreeding depression in the Zea Synthetic population in the field this summer!"

David Wills (2014-2017)

Postdoctoral Fellow who came to us from John Doebley's lab where he worked on prolificacy in maize and teosinte. He worked on the AFRI-funded ATLAS grant to test for pleiotropic effects and linkage drag.

Avinash Karn (2012-2017)

PhD Student. A native of Nepal and graduate of Truman State University, Avi was a PhD student in the Division of Plant Sciences. His projects involved identifying QTLs for kernel composition traits in the Teosinte NILs, and looking for epistasis in the Teosinte Synthetic population.

Anna Glowinski (2013-2019)

PhD Student. Anna is a native of Indiana, and graduate of Hannover College. Her project centers on the Zea Synthetic doubled haploids (DH). She evaluated the DH lines for several agronomic and fitness traits, and identied which regions of the genome were selected against during DH production.

Alex Folk (2017-2019)

Alex was a Biological Sciences student, and worked on a capstone project with our group, investigating several aspects of doubled haploids in the Zea Synthetic. Upon graduation, Alex attended basic training for the National Guard and snuck back into the corn field between National Guard commitments. He currently works for Sinclair Research.

Cassady Watkins (summer 2017)

Cassady was a high school student who worked with us one summer in the corn field. She was also very active in FFA in the Columbia Public Schools.

Nick Rector (summer 2017)

Nick was a Plant Sciences student at MU. He was very happy collecting insects in the corn field for his Entomology class.

Maggie Schopp (2015-2017)

Maggie was a high school student when she began working for us. She has since graduated from high school, and will be heading to the University of Chicago in the fall.

Ryan Haag (2016)

Ryan was an Animal Sciences major at MU, but had prior experience in the corn breeding industry. We welcomed Ryan's experience in the field!

Devin Horst (2015)

Devin was an Plant Sciences major at MU. After graduating, Devin was hoping to get a job in the plant sciences in the St. Louis area.

Jose Daniel Froes (2014)

Jose Daniel (aka Junior) is a native of Brazil and was studying abroad in Missouri. He joined our lab one summer to learn about corn breeding and genetics.

James Jeffrey (2014)

James was a Navy Reservist and undergraduate at in Biological Sciences at MU. After graduating James was hoping to get into physical therapy school.

James Bain (2014)

James B was a masters student in Anthropology, studying prenatal care in ancient cultures. He was curious about the evolution of corn, so decided to work with us in the summer.

Casey Baumgartner (2013-2016)

An undergraduate majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife. Casey liked the corn so much, she came back for a second and even a third year!

Joe Bevilacqua (2011-2013)

A recent graduate of Plant Sciences at MU. Joe has moved on to a job in industry.

Matt Boyer (2011-2013)

Undergraduate at MU, majoring in History. Matt enjoys Civil War battle reenactments, so the summer heat in the corn field doesn't faze him!

Nathan Capkovic (2009-2011)

Started working in the corn field while a high school student in St. Louis. But Nathan learned to love corn and came back for a total of three summer seasons!

Taylor Carolan (2011-2012)

Undergraduate at MU, majoring in Animal Sciences. Taylor hopes to start graduate school in Animal Science soon.

Jose Daniel Froes (2014)

A an exchange student from Brazil, who was at MU for a Study Abroad program in Agricultural Engineering. He has experience in lettuce and bean breeding, and wanted to learn a little bit about corn before returning to Brazil.

Morgan Gifford (2014-2016)

An undergraduate majoring in food science and minoring in plant science. Morgan worked on a grape project one summer and wanted to learn about corn at MU.

Alex Higgins (2012-2013)

A recent graduate of MU, majoring in Music Education. Alex will be the band director at North Callaway High School in Kingdom City, Missouri starting this fall, but can't get enough field work so he comes back to work for the Genetics Farm each summer!

Devin Horst (2015)

A student majoring in Plant Sciences. Devin had the misfortune of working with us during summer 2015, when we were unable to plant our main nursery. But we had plenty of other corn to keep him happy!

James Jeffery (2014)

James J is an undergraduate majoring in Biological Sciences at MU. When not in the field, James is a Navy Reservist.

Chelsea Jeter (2013-2015)

An undergraduate at MU, majoring in Biochemistry. Chelsea hopes to spend her last semester studying abroad in Japan, but wanted to work in the corn field before she leaves. Chelsea has moved on to a job in industry.

Collin Luebbert (2013)

An undergraduate at MU, majoring in Plant Sciences. Collin has moved on to a job in industry.

Ryan Missey (2009-2010)

Undergraduate at MU who majored in Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Systems Management.

Mark Merrifield (2009-2010)

Undergraduate at MU who majored in Pre-Physical Therapy.

Robin Phillips (2010-2011, 2013)

After graduating with her biology degree, Robin graduated from the radiology program at MU and worked part time at the university hospital x-ray department before becoming full time.

Kate Pyatek (2009)

Experienced in soybean genetics and breeding, but was happy to work on corn while applying to medical school. Last seen roaming around Alaska!

Ben Sammons (2010-2011)

Biochemistry major at MU.

Will Silvia (2010-2011)

Plant Sciences major at MU.

Kara Small (2009-2010)

Graduate of Texas A&M, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation/Management. Kara worked out in the corn field during the week and was a scuba diving instructor on the weekends.