Post Docs & Research Associates

Postdoctoral Membership in the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics

The Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics (IPBGG) has a postdoctoral member category to facilitate their integration and a sense of belonging in the PBGG community.  PhD-level research scientists also qualify for this membership.

Postdoctoral members of the IPBGG will have access to PBGG resources (such as travel support and retreat participation), can participate in organization of PBGG activities, propose PBGG events, provide suggestions for PBGG seminar speakers, serve on selected committees, and participate in governance discussions, but will have no vote.   

PBGG Postdoctoral members are expected to be active members of the PBGG community, participate in PBGG events, take advantage of some of the benefits listed above, and contribute to the overall PBGG mission.

To apply for postdoctoral member status within IPBGG, candidates must

  • Work for a PI who is member of the IPBGG
  • Perform research in the broad area of plant breeding, genetics & genomics
  • Prepare an application packet to be sent to that includes
    • A description of how your research relates to an area of PBGG
    • A CV
    • A statement from your PI in support of your membership within the IPBGG
    • Your
      • Name
      • Professional title
      • Name of Sponsor (PI)
      • Department/Center Affiliation
      • Email:
      • Cell/Work phone number
      • Campus mailing address
      • A photo of yourself. Note: your photo should have an aspect ration of 2x3 and not exceed 600 pixels in width.  We are after candid action photos- see examples.  Please avoid passport or driver's license type of photos.  Avoid photos taken against a wall or blank surface or wearing formal clothing.

All applications will be reviewed by the steering committee for approval.


Name Research Area/Lab Phone/Email
Sailaja Bhogireddy

Functional genomics and genetics of parthenogenesis in sorghum and cowpea
Lab: Peggy Ozias-Akins

Carlos Cardon
Gene functions for reproduction and disease resistance in peanut
Lab: Peggy Ozias-Akins, Tifton

Natalie Deans
Genome editing in tomato for synthetic biology
Lab: Buell, Athens

Francisco de Blas
Utilisation of wild Arachis species and genomics to introgress disease resistances
Lab: Bertioli Wild Peanut Lab

Heather Gladfelter
Genome editing of Gerbera
Lab: Dayton Wilde, Athens

Eudald Illa-Berenguer 
Genome Editing in Switchgrass
Lab: Wayne Parrott, Athens
Sameer Khanal
Cotton breeding, genetics and genomics
Lab: Peng Wah Chee, Tifton
Daniel Lasspisa
Statistical genetics in maize and other crops
Lab: Wallace Lab, Athens

Chenxin Li
Functional genomics and regulation of plant specialized metabolism
Lab: Buell, Athens
Xunliang Liu
Peptide signaling in plant-nematode interactions
Lab: Melissa Mitchum, Athens
Alex Lukew
Breeding squash resistant to whitefly transmitted diseases
Lab: McGregor, Athens

Leynar Leyton Naranjo

Breeding and Genetics of Aronia berry, a new  crop for Georgia
Lab: Carol Robacker, Griffin
Thomas Pendergast 
Trait analyses in switchgrass
Lab: Katrien Devos, Athens
Peng Qi 
Plant genomics and bioinformatics
Lab: Katrien Devos, Athens
Irum Raza
Cotton Breeding, Genetics & Genomics
Lab: Peng Wah Chee, Tifton
Raquel Rocha
Molecular plant-nematode interactions
Lab: Melissa Mitchum, Athens
Yasin Topcu
The Molecular and Genetic Basis of Blossom End Rot in Tomato
Lab: Esther van der Knapp, Athens
Yanbing Wang
Tomato fruit weight and shape
Lab: Esther van der Knapp, Athens
Jianxin Zhao
Identification and characterization of genes underlying traits of interest in grass species
Lab: Katrien Devos, Athens
Lei Zhang
Structural variations in the tomato genome
Lab: Esther van der Knapp, Athens