Name: Nathaniel Burner
Hometown: Lemont, Illinois
Year in School: Graduate Student (Ph.D.)
In his own words ...
Where are you from, and why did you choose to study at UGA/CAES?
Lemont, IL; Since undergrad I have had the career goal of becoming a plant breeder. UGA is well-known for being a plant breeding powerhouse in large part due to the accomplished faculty it attracts. The soybean breeding and genetics lab offered projects that provided me with direct experience in its applied breeding program that would prepare me for a career in industry.
What is your major/degree program, and what department?
Degree: PhD in Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics; Dept: IPBGG
Why did you choose your major?
Plant breeding provides for the opportunity to enrich the livelihoods of growers and the communities they serve through the development of improved crop cultivars.
What is your favorite class you have taken?
STAT 8090: Statistical Analysis of Genetic Data
Who has been your favorite instructor?
What has been the best experience you've had so far at the college?
The many opportunities to travel to conferences across the country to hear interesting talks and network.
What do you want to do with what you have learned here?
Become a plant breeder at a private seed company.
How has your experience at UGA changed you?
I have a better understanding of the fundamental aspects of a breeding pipeline and the many logistical considerations breeders must deal with.
Thinking of the word agriculture - what does agriculture mean to you? In what ways does agriculture impact your life and your culture?
Agriculture is the bedrock of every society. A robust food system greatly expands the possibilities of human achievment.
What do you like to do outside of class — hobbies, interests, secret talents?
Brazilian jiu jitsu, tennis, puzzles, hiking, and camping.