Joe Bundy is our only three-time repeat summer worker.  He worked his way up from lowly summer field assistant to senior lowly summer field assistant in his three seasons with us.  Joe is in a PhD. program in neuro-biology at Florida State.

Larissa Benavente, worked  on a project to develop a robust viral induced gene silencing (VIGS) system in maize. This is a collaboration with Rick Nelson at the Noble Foundation.

She is now a Senior Scientist at Gentris Corporation

Randy Wisser was a postdoc in our program. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Delaware , Dept of Plant and Soil Science. He completed his Ph.D. with Rebecca Nelson at Cornell. You can read about him at his website  Check out his PNAS paper .

Bob Baesman was our technician and resident SSR maven He has now retired last sighted in Panama. 

Illustrious Alumni

George Van Esbroek help us as a field research specialist for a couple of years and is now having a much better time working with Paul Murphy.

John Zwonitzer was a graduate student working on the dissection of some of our favorite quantitative trait loci.    He grew up in Kansas farm boy and has an MS. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in John is now breeding corn with Dow AgroSciences in Huxley Iowa.

Donna Stephens was a wonderful field technician who was with us for  more than four years.  We lost her in early 2009 to pancreatic cancer.  She is sorely missed for her dedication and good humour.

Rahul Dhawan worked as a post-doc on our NSF-funded project looking at  the genetic architecture controlling the Hypersensitive response in maize.  He was hired away by Monsanto, where he works on creation of double haploids among other things.

Araby Belcher completed her masters degree with us, working on the phenotypic, molecular and physiological characterization of near-isogenic lines  differing for disease resistance.  Araby comes from Wisconsin too, where she was a high school wrestling champion.  She is now  lab manager in a potato pathology lab in Idaho.

Adisu Negeri also worked on our NSF-funded project looking at  the genetic architecture controlling the Hypersensitive response in maize. He is now a popcorn breeder at  Weaver Popcorn Company. Adisu is originally from Wollega, Ethiopia.


David Rhyne

Originally from Fayetteville, NC, Dave Rhyne was our lab manger for 6 years or so.  Prior to that he was a mainstay of the molecular marker lab at NC State for almost 20 years.  Dave took early retirement in 2011 and seems to be enjoying it.

USDA-ARS Maize Disease Resistance Genetics at NC State