Graduate Faculty

The Plant Center fosters interaction among plant science researchers across UGA departments, colleges, and campuses, including the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, the Franklin College of Arts & Sciences, the Odum School of Ecology, and the Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources. The Plant Center encompasses researchers not only on the Athens campus, but also at the Griffin and Tifton campuses, and it facilitates exchanges between UGA faculty and USDA research scientists. Their complementary research interests center around plant breeding, genetics, genomics, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology and evolution.

Madgy Alabady

Associate Research Scientist
Plant Biology, Georgia Genomics Facility
Website | ResearchGate
malabady@uga.edu
functional genomics, epigenetics, small RNA

Jill Anderson

Assistant Professor
Genetics, Ecology
Website | Google Scholar
jta24@uga.edu
global change, ecophysiology, natural selection, evolutionary genetics, local adaptation

Maor Bar-Peled

Professor
Plant Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
Website
peled@uga.edu
complex carbohydrates synthesis and regulation, biochemistry and molecular biology

Jeff Bennetzen

Norman and Doris Giles Professor, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, National Academy of Sciences Member, Lamar Dodd Award (2014)
Genetics, Institute of Bioinformatics
Website | Google Scholar
maize@uga.edu
cereal comparative genomics, genome structure and evolution

David Bertioli

Visiting Professor
ResearchGate
bertioli@uga.edu
peanut genetics and genomics, and wild species introgression

Tim Brenneman

Professor
Plant Pathology
Website | ResearchGate
arachis@uga.edu
epidemiology and control of pecan diseases and soil-borne peanut diseases

Marin Brewer

Associate Professor
Plant Pathology
Website | Google Scholar | ResearchGate | Focus on Faculty
mtbrewer@uga.edu
plant-pathogenic fungi, population genomics, mating systems, host specialization

Alexander Bucksch

Assistant Professor
Plant Biology, School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Institute of Bioinformatics
Website | Google Scholar | ResearchGate | Twitter
bucksch@uga.edu
computational plant science, phenomics, plant roots, plant imaging and simulation

John Burke

Professor, Creative Research Medal (2013)
Plant Biology
Website | Google Scholar
jmburke@uga.edu
plant evolutionary genetics

Shu-Mei Chang

Professor
Plant Biology
Website | ResearchGate
smchang@uga.edu
evolution and ecology of plant reproduction and mating systems

Peng W. Chee

Professor
Crop and Soil Sciences, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory
Website
pwchee@uga.edu
Molecular Cotton Breeding Laboratory
molecular breeding of cotton

Joann Conner

Assistant Research Scientist
Horticulture, National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory
Website
jconner@uga.edu
apospory, angiosperm asexual reproduction

 Alan Darvill

Regents Professor, Director of CCRC
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Plant Biology, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
Website
adarvill@ccrc.uga.edu
plant cell walls

R. Kelly Dawe

Distinguished Research Professor, Creative Research Medal (2000)
Plant Biology, Genetics
Website | Google Scholar
kdawe@uga.edu
centromeres, cytogenetics

C. Michael Deom

Professor
Plant Pathology
Website | ResearchGate
deom@uga.edu
virus-host interactions

Katrien Devos

Professor, Creative Research Medal (2017)
Plant Biology, Crop and Soil Sciences, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, Institute of Bioinformatics
Website | ResearchGate
kdevos@uga.edu
comparative genomics in cereal

Lisa Donovan

Distinguished Research Professor, Creative Research Medal (2006), Women’s Leadership Fellow (2016)
Plant Biology
WebsiteResearchGate | Focus on Faculty
ldonovan@uga.edu | ResearchGate
plant evolutionary ecophysiology, stress physiology, resource allocation

Scott Gold

Professor
Plant Pathology
Website
sgold@uga.edu
molecular biology of plant-fungal pathogen interactions

Michael G. Hahn

Professor, Creative Research Medal (2012)
Plant Biology, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
Website | Google Scholar | ResearchGate
hahn@ccrc.uga.edu
study of plant cell wall polysaccharides using monoclonal antibodies

Scott Harding

Senior Research Scientist
Forestry, Genetics
Website
sharding@uga.edu
stress physiology, metabolism, metabolomics

Scott Jackson

Professor and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, Crop and Soil Sciences, Institute of Bioinformatics, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, Plant Biology
Website | Google Scholar | ResearchGate
sjackson@uga.edu
genomics, crops, bioinformatics

David Jespersen

Assistant Professor
Crop and Soil Sciences
Website
djesper@uga.edu
turfgrass physiology

Chang Hyun Khang

Assistant Professor
Plant Biology
Website | ResearchGate
ckhang@uga.edu
plant-fungal interactions, rice, blast fungus

Brian Kvitko

Assistant Professor
Plant Pathology
WebsiteResearchGate
bkvitko@uga.edu
mechanisms of plant immune action against bacteria, molecular phytobacteriology

Soraya Leal-Bertioli

Research Scientist
ResearchGate
sorayab@uga.edu
use of wild relatives to improve the peanut crop

Jim Leebens-Mack

Professor, Director of Georgia Genomics Facility, Creative Research Medal (2016)
Plant Biology
Website | Google Scholar | ResearchGate | Focus on Faculty
jleebensmack@uga.edu
genomic, phylogenetic and experimental analyses

Changyi ‘Charlie’ Li

Professor
College of Engineering
Website
cyli@uga.edu
high-throughput phenotyping, plant imaging, robotics

Zenglu Li

Associate Professor
Crop and Soil Sciences, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website
zli@uga.edu
soybean breeding, genetics and genomics

Wolfgang Lukowitz

Associate Professor
Plant Biology
Lab Website
lukowitz@uga.edu
plant development and cell biology

Anish Malladi

Associate Professor
Horticulture, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website | ResearchGate
malladi@uga.edu
fruit growth and developmental physiology

Russell Malmberg

University Professor, Associate Dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
Plant Biology
Website | Google Scholar | ResearchGate
malmberg@uga.edu
bioinformatics, RNA structure, ecological genetics, pitcher plants (Sarracenia)

Rodney Mauricio

Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor
Genetics
Website
mauricio@uga.edu
conservation genetics, invasive species, ecological genetics, evolutionary ecology, plant-animal interactions, evolutionary quantitative genetics, adaptation

Cecilia McGregor

Associate Professor
Horticulture, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website  | Google Scholar
cmcgre1@uga.edu
vegetables, breeding, genetics, genomics, marker-assisted selection, QTL

Mohamed Mergoum

Professor, Georgia Seed Development/UGA Foundation Professor
Crop & Soil Sciences, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website
mmergoum@uga.edu
small grain breeding, genetics and genomics

Scott Merkle

Professor, Associate Dean of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Creative Research Medal (2011)
Forestry
Website
smerkle@uga.edu
somatic embryogenesis and genetic transformation of forest trees

Ali Missaoui

Assistant Professor
Crop & Soil Sciences, Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website | ResearchGate
cssamm@uga.edu
bioenergy, forages, breeding, genomics

Debra Mohnen

Professor
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
Website | ResearchGate
dmohnen@uga.edu
biosynthesis of plant cell wall polysaccharides

Michelle Momany

Professor
Plant Biology
Website | Twitter
mmomany@uga.edu
fungal genetics, cytoskeleton, polar growth

Savithri Nambeesan

Assistant Research Scientist
Horticulture
Website
sunamb@uga.edu
ripening and postharvest physiology

Peggy Ozias-Akins

Distinguished Research Professor, Director of IPBGG, Creative Research Medal (2015)
Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, Horticulture, National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory
Website | ResearchGate | Focus on Faculty
pozias@uga.edu
developmental biology and molecular mechanisms of apomixis, genetic enhancement of peanut and grasses

Wayne Parrott

Professor
Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, Crop and Soil Sciences, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website | Google Scholar | ResearchGate | Lab Facebook | Twitter
wparrott@uga.edu
transgenics, breeding

Andrew Paterson

Regents Professor, Lamar Dodd Award (2009)
Crop and Soil Sciences, Genetics, Institute of Bioinformatics, Plant Biology, Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory
Website | Google Scholar | Focus on Faculty
paterson@uga.edu
plant genetics, genomics, evolution, crop improvement, domestication

Paul Raymer

Professor
Crop and Soil Sciences, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website
praymer@uga.edu
turfgrass breeding and genetics

Harald Scherm

Professor and Department Head
Plant Pathology
Website | Google Scholar
scherm@uga.edu
etiology and integrated management of diseases of fruit crops

Robert Schmitz

Associate Professor
Genetics, Institute of Bioinformatics
Website  | Google Scholar | ResearchGate | Twitter
schmitz@uga.edu
epigenetics, epigenomics

Shavannor Smith

Associate Professor
Plant Pathology
Website | ResearchGate
shavs@uga.edu
plant-pathogen interactions, structure and evolution of disease resistance loci

Rajagopalbabu Srinivasan

Associate Professor
Entomology
Website |ResearchGate
babusri@uga.edu
vector biology, vector-pathogen interactions, vector-virus-host interactions, thrips, whiteflies, aphids, plant viruses

Andrea Sweigart

Associate Professor
Genetics
Website
sweigart@uga.edu
evolutionary genetics, speciation

CJ Tsai

Winfred N. Haynes Professor and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
Forestry, Genetics, Institute of Bioinformatics
Website  | Google Scholar | ResearchGate | Lab Facebook | Focus on Faculty
cjtsai@uga.edu
phenylpropanoid metabolism, stress response, wood formation, gene family evolution, gene-metabolite networks

Caterina Villari

Assistant Professor
Forestry
Website |Google Scholar | ResearchGate

fungal pathogens, resistance mechanisms of trees, chemical ecology, insect-fungi symbioses

Esther van der Knaap

Professor
Horticulture, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website | Google Scholar | ResearchGate

tomato developmental genetics, genomics, molecular biology

Marc van Iersel

Professor
Horticulture
Website | Google Scholar | ResearchGate

physiology, drought, photosynthesis

Ron Walcott

Associate Dean
Graduate School
Website | Google Scholar
rwalcott@uga.edu
seed pathology and bacteriology

Jason Wallace

Assistant Professor
Crop and Soil Sciences, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
WebsiteORCiD
jason.wallace@uga.edu
quantitative genetics and genomics of crops and their microbiomes

Dayton Wilde

Dooley Professor
Horticulture, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website | ResearchGate
dwilde@uga.edu
molecular genetics of ornamental plants

Zheng-Hua Ye

Professor
Plant Biology
Website
yh@uga.edu
molecular mechanisms and evolution of vascular differentiation and patterning

William York

Professor
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Website
will@ccrc.uga.edu

spectroscopic and computational methods for the structural and conformational analysis of complex carbohydrates

Donglin Zhang

Dirr Professor
Horticulture, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics
Website
donglin@uga.edu
woody ornamental improvement

Xiaoyu Zhang

Associate Professor
Plant Biology
Website
xiaoyu@uga.edu
gnome-wide studies of the mechanisms, functions and interactions of plant epigenetic pathways