• Congratulations to Ed Beasley who won 2nd place in the student competition in the Cotton Improvement Conference at the Beltwide Cotton Conference in Austin, TX in January, 2020. He presented his PhD research (advisor Peng Chee) on Screening Cotton Germplasm for Resistance to Fusarium Wilt.


  • IPBGG students and post-docs took top honor in the 2019 Plant Center Retreat Poster Contests:
    Student Group
    1st - Monica Prias (Parrott Lab): Towards a Methodology to Improve Somatic Embryogenesis and Transformation Efficiency in Switchgrass (PanicumvirgatumL.): Overexpression of Baby boom and Wuschel2 Genes
    2nd - Hallie Wright (Devos Lab)Fine-mapping d4 and Br1 in pearl millet (tied with Peter Pietrzyk from Bucksch Lab)
    Post-Doc Group
    1st - Qiang Li (Van der Knaap Lab): Fine cis-engineering by CRISPR/Cas9 in the promoter of tomato KLUH generates varied fruit weight for crop improvement
    2nd - Lei Zhang (Van der Knaap Lab): Mining novel fruit weight QTLs in semi-domesticated tomato population
  • Our own Leynar Naranjo is 3rd place and honorable mention winner in the National Association of Plant Breeders' 2019 Photo Contest! Congratulations Leynar and thanks for participating!
  • Congratulations to the 2019 IPBGG Retreat Poster Award winners:
    1.    Gary Orr
    2.    Carmen Krauss
    Postdoc/Visiting Scientist
    1.    Alex Johnson
    2.    Eudald Illa-Berenguer
    1.    Manoj Sapkota
    2.    Yuji Ke
    3.    Davis Gimode 
  • Congratulations to Suraj Sapkota who was selected by the American Society of Agronomy to receive the 2019 Nelson Yield-Limiting Factors Graduate Student Scholarship! The scholarship includes a $3000 monetary award and recognition at the Annual Meeting at the prestigious ASA Awards Ceremony that includes the E.T. & Vam York Plenary Lecture on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019.
  • Ivy Tran won second place in the graduate student poster competition at the 2019 National Soybean Breeders Workshop in St. Louis, MO. She presented a poster on “Deciphering Composition of Root Microbiome of Soybean Genotypes for Soybean Cyst Nematode Resistance”. 
  • Winnie Gimode, PhD student of Cecilia McGregor, continues to be a strong competitor! She won second place in the poster competition at the SR-ASHS and Watermelon Research Working Group meetings in Birmingham AL for the poster entitled "Fine mapping of a Major Quantitative Trait Locus Qdff3-1 Controlling Flowering Time in Watermelon." Winnie was also voted the 'audience favorite' for the paper presentation entitled “Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci Associated with Gummy Stem Blight Resistance in Watermelon."



  • Congratulations to Corley Holbrook who received the Research and Education Award from  the Georgia Peanut Commission! Well-deserved recognition for extensive contributions to the peanut community.
  • The IPBGG was well represented at the 2018 Plant Center Retreat held during the last week of September at Unicoi State Park. Out of over 60 graduate student posters for which there were 3 awards, our graduate students won 1st and 3rd place!
    • 3rd place:  Lynsey Kovar, advised by Jason Wallace, for her poster entitled, ”Leaf microbiome community structure, co-abundance analysis, and correlation with phenotype across 270 diverse maize lines.“
    • 1st place:  Winnie Gimode, advised by Cecilia McGregor, poster entitled, “Fine-mapping of a Major Quantitative Trait Locus Qdff3-1 Controlling Flowering Time in Watermelon.“ Congratulations Winnie and Lynsey!
  • Congratulations to Davis Gimode who was selected by UGA-CAES Global Programs to attend The World Food Prize award ceremony and the 2018 World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium "Rise to the Challenge". This year’s symposium explores the effort to feed the large population expected by 2050.
  • Congratulations to Liz Prenger! In addition to representing IPBGG as a Borlaug Scholar at the NAPB Annual Meeting (Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Aug. 7-10), Liz also won the 2nd place poster award! Listen to the SeedWorld podcast featuring Liz.
  • Congratulations also are due to Thomas Gottilla (dual BSc/MSc student in IPBGG), another recipient of the Georgia Seed Association Scholarship!
  • Suraj Sapkota was selected as 2018’s recipient of the Georgia Seed Association Scholarship. The Georgia Seed Association offers a $2,000 scholarship annually to a deserving student attending a state university pursuing an agriculture-related degree. Depending on the number and quality of the applicants, the Association may opt to select a graduate and undergraduate recipient.
  • Congratulations Suraj!Congratulations to Mohamed Mergoum on being selected as the 2018 International Crop Science Award recipient! He will be recognized during the Tri-Societies Annual Meeting at the CSSA Awards Ceremony and Klepper Plenary Lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
  • Wayne Parrott was just elected incoming secretary for the American Society of Plant Biologists.  We thank Wayne for his willingness to serve in this capacity for this distinguished society.
  • Laxman Adhikari received 1st place for his oral presentation at the NAPA (Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of America) biennial conference held in Oklahoma City on 26th and 27th May, 2018.  Great job representing plant breeding and our graduate program!
  • Congratulations to our poster awardees at the 2018 Annual Retreat:

MS category:
1st Place for Carmen Kraus with the title: “Getting in shape: When are tomato shape differences apparent in the developing bud?
2nd Place for Elizabeth Prenger with the title: “Altered seed composition phenotypes for improvement of soybean seed composition”

PhD category:
1st Place for Laxman Adhikari with the title: “Detection of QTLs associated with fall dormancy and winter-hardiness in alfalfa revealed potentiality of independent improvement of two traits”
2nd Place for Yasin Topcu with the title: “The molecular and genetic basis of blossom end rot in tomato”

Postdoc, Staff, and Visiting Scientist:
1st Place for Walid Korani with the title: “Crossword: A data-driven simulation language for the design of genetic-mapping experiments and breeding strategies”
2nd Place for Ed McAssey with the title: “Transposon mutagenesis 2.0”

  • Joann Conner was recognized at the Tifton Campus Awards ceremony with the Tifton Campus Award for Senior Research Scientist for her discoveries in plant reproduction, specifically apomixis. Congratulations Joann! 
  • Congratulations to Liz Prenger, MS student with Zenglu Li.  Liz has been selected as one of four 2018 NAPB Borlaug Graduate Scholars! This is the inaugural class and Scholars will be paired with an NAPB professional member and receive complimentary registration and travel reimbursement to attend the 2018 NAPB Annual Meeting.
  • Congratulations to Wayne Parrott, recipient of a 2018, Distinguished Research Professor award.
  • Distinguished Research Professor is one of the highest UGA awards and is presented to "faculty who are internationally recognized for their original contributions to knowledge and whose work promises to foster continued creativity in their discipline".  We are honored to have a faculty member of IPBGG achieve this recognition.
  • Congratulations to Evan McCoy who won the C.M. Beckham award for best PhD student presentation at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Georgia Entomological Society with his presentation titled: “Something to chew on: Convincing insects to dislike soybean”. The meeting was held in Helen, Georgia.
  • Congratulations to Connor Ryan, MS student of Donglin Zhang, for first place award in the Bryson L. James Student Competition at the 62nd Southern Nursery Association Research Conference.  He presented a paper on "Susceptibility of Sarcococca taxa to Boxwood Blight caused by Calonectria pseudonaviculata."  The conference was held in Jan in Baltimore, MD.
  • The 6th Interdisciplinary Graduate Plant and Soil Symposium was held Friday, March 2 and IPBGG did very well! Four departments participate – Crop and Soil Science, Horticulture, PBGG, and Plant Pathology. Congratulations to Liz Prenger and Chandler Maddox for first and second place awards in MS and PhD competitions, respectively!
  • Liz Prenger won first place in the poster competition at the 2018 Soybean Breeders Workshop in St. Louis, MO. She presented a poster on “Identification and characterization of fast-neutron induced mutations underlying altered seed composition phenotypes for soybean seed improvement”. Congratulations Liz!
  • Two PBGG students, Winnie Gimode and Lucky Paudel, took top honors at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science in Jacksonville, FL. Winnie presented in the Warren S. Barham Ph.D. Student Paper and Lucky in the Norman F. Childers M.S. Student Paper competitions. Both are students of Dr. Cecilia McGregor. Congratulations to our distinguished ambassadors!
  • Congratulations to Ed Beasley for being awarded the Cotton Incorporated Fellowship.
  • Congratulations to Davis Gimode for being awarded the 2018 Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grant from the Graduate School and the 2018 U.S Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security Fellowship.
  • Congratulations to Nathan Taitano on being selected to receive 2018's Glenn and Helen Burton Feeding the Hungry Scholarship Award!  The purpose of this scholarship is to aid PhD students in their education and recognize research in breeding of grains, oilseeds, legumes, fruits, nuts, or vegetables for human food or animal feed.


  • Congratulations to Suraj Sapkota for being awarded 2nd place in the 2017 C-1 Graduate Poster Competition from the Crop Science Society of America.
  • Congratulations to Carolina Ballén‐Taborda, 2017 PhD first place recipient of the prestigious E. Broadus Browne Award! Carolina presented her research on Mapping a new source of root-knot nematode (RKN) resistance from the wild species A. stenosperma and introgression into peanut Arachis hypogaea L.
  • Congratulations to Katrien Devos, recipient of the 2017 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Research! The 2017 D.W. Brooks Lecture and Awards was held in Mahler Auditorium on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. Nina Fedoroff presented this year's lecture titled, "The GMO Wars: What do we do when scientists and citizens deeply disagree?"
  • Congratulations to Clint Steketee on being selected as a 2017 Crop Science Graduate Student Scholarship recipient from the Gerald O. Mott Scholarship Fund of the Crop Science Society of America and the Agronomic Science Foundation.
  • Kudos to two PBGG faculty who are 2017 UGA Research Awards Recipients:
    • Dr. Peggy Ozias-Akins was awarded a Distinguished Research Professor award, read more.
    • Dr. Katrien Devos was awarded a Creative Research Medal, read more.
  • Congratulations to Carolina Chavarro for winning second place in section 1 of the Joe Sugg Graduate Student competition at the annual American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico!  The title of her presentation was Genotyping of Recombinant Inbred Lines Population Provides Evidence of Tetrasomic Recombination in Cultivated Peanut.
  • Congratulations to Winnie Gimode for receiving second place in the graduate student category at the Plant Center Retreat.
  • Congratulations to Wayne Parrott on his election as a AAAS FellowRead more about this prestigious honor.
  • Congratulations to Elizabeth Prenger, Ivey Tran and Tim Chappell for receiving the John Ingle Innovation in Plant Breeding Award.
  • Kudos to Alexandra Ostezan and Lynsey Kovar for being awarded the Graduate School’s GREAT Fellowship.
  • Congratulations to Winnie Gimode for being awarded 1st Place in the IPBGG PhD Poster competition for presentation at the National Association of Plant Breeders meeting, 2017.
  • Congratulations to Clint Steketee on being selected to receive 2017's Glenn and Helen Burton Feeding the Hungry Scholarship Award!  The purpose of this scholarship is to aid PhD students in their education and recognize research in breeding of grains, oilseeds, legumes, fruits, nuts, or vegetables for human food or animal feed.


  • Congratulations to John Ruter for the numerous awards he received in 2016 in recognition of his expertise in and educational efforts with ornamental plants! 
    • Service Award from the American Conifer Society
    • Fellow of the International Plant Propagators Society
    • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Green Industry Association for his distinguished and unselfish service to the horticulture industry in Georgia
    • A Student Career Development Award from UGA 
  • Congratulations to Peng Chee for receipt of the 2016 Cotton Genetics Research Award presented at the 2017 Beltwide Cotton Improvement Conference!
  • Congratulations to Clint Steketee on being selected to receive 2016's Glenn and Helen Burton Feeding the Hungry Scholarship Award!  The purpose of this scholarship is to aid PhD students in their education and recognize research in breeding of grains, oilseeds, legumes, fruits, nuts, or vegetables for human food or animal feed.