2017 Graduate Student Organizing Committee     ( left TO RIGHT: Ellen Roundey, Tessa ries, francisco gomez, ammani kyanam, steve anderson, wardha mustahsan, Drutdaman bhangu, smit dhakal)

                                                                                                    2017 Graduate Student Organizing Committee

    ( left TO RIGHT: Ellen Roundey, Tessa ries, francisco gomez, ammani kyanam, steve anderson, wardha mustahsan, Drutdaman bhangu, smit dhakal)

The Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium is fully organized by a committee of graduate students studying plant breeding and related sciences.
 


Francisco Gomez

Ph.D. Student, Plant Breeding

francisco.gomez@tamu.edu

Francisco is a third-year Ph.D. student in plant breeding and a former BTD-NSF Fellow, working at the Texas A&M Sorghum Breeding Program under Dr. Bill Rooney. Francisco's current research focuses on investigating the genetic architecture and identification of QTL associated with mechanical traits that are known to be associated with stem lodging. Francisco is also working on developing high-throughput imaging techniques including x-ray computed tomography to predict morphological and mechanical traits in sorghum. Francisco was born in Texas but raised in Honduras where he spent most of his childhood. Francisco is a second generation plant breeder and Aggie. He received his B.S. in Agriculture Operations Management from the University of Florida and his M.S. in Plant Breeding from Texas A&M University. His career goals are to become an agricultural scientist and breeder at an elite agriculture academic institution.


Ammani Kyanam

Ammani Kyanam

Ammani Kyanam

M.S. Student, Plant Breeding

akyanam@tamu.edu

Ammani is a Master of Science student in the lab of Dr. David M. Stelly in cotton breeding and cytogenetics. She will be receiving her degree in December 2016.  Her current research is focused on development of breeding tools for systematic introgression of the A2 and D1 genome into Upland Cotton and has presented the work in several national conferences. She is also the current Treasurer for the Plant Breeding & Genetics Graduate Student Organization at Texas A&M and the Graduate Student Representative of the NAPB Communication Committee. Ammani received her B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University, India.


Dustin Wilkerson

Dustin Wilkerson

Dustin Wilkerson

M.S. Student, Plant Breeding

dgwilkerson14@tamu.edu

Dustin is currently a Master of Science student with Dr. Steve Hague in cotton breeding set to graduate in December of 2016. His thesis is built upon using high throughput phenotyping techniques to characterize drought tolerance in exotic, upland cotton races. Dustin graduated from the University of Missouri Columbia in 2014 with a B.S. in Plant Science emphasizing in plant breeding, genetics, and biotechnology and a minor in agricultural economics. He grew up in the rural community of Paris, located in northeast Missouri.


Smit Dhakal

Smit Dhakal

Smit Dhakal

Ph.D. Student, Plant Breeding

smit.dhakal@tamu.edu

Smit is currently a third year Ph.D. student with Dr. Amir Ibrahim in the wheat breeding program. For his Ph.D., he is working on genetic mapping of end-use quality of hard red wheat under drought condition. His dream is to work for the seed industry during his early career before working in developing countries. Smit received his M.S. degree in Plant, Soil and Environmental Science from West Texas A&M University. He did his B.Sc.Ag. in Plant Breeding and Genetics in Nepal. Before coming to US, he supported his parents in growing rice and wheat on their farm.


Ellen Roundey

Ellen Roundey

Ellen Roundey

Ph.D. Student, Horticulture 

ellenlouise@tamu.edu

Ellen is a third-year Ph.D. student with Dr. David Byrne in the rose breeding program. Her research involves identifying quantitative trait loci for rose rosette disease resistance in diploid roses. She graduated from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan in 2014 with a B.S. in Biology. Her goal is to teach horticulture or a related field at the university level. She is from St. Louis, Missouri.


Wardah Mustahsan

Wardah Mustahsan

Wardah Mustahsan

M.S. Student, Plant Breeding

wardah.mustash_786@tamu.edu

Wardah is currently a Master of Science student with Dr. Michael Thomson in rice genetics set to graduate in December 2017. Her thesis focuses on whole genome transcript profiling for heat tolerance in rice. Wardah graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology. Her career goal is to become a rice plant breeder at a prestigious research institute that contributes to diminishing world hunger by focusing on rice improvement for global communities.


steve anderson

steve anderson

Steve Anderson

Ph.D. Student, Plant Breeding

andersst@tamu.edu

Steve is currently a first year Ph.D. student under Dr. Seth Murray in the Quantitative Genetics and Maize Breeding Program. His current research is focused on understanding the effects of mating designs on QTL mapping power and resolution, as well as, developing protocol towards rapid generation advancement in vitro. He received his M.S. in Plant Breeding at Texas A&M University and his B.S. in Biology at the University of Central Florida. Steve grew up in Naples, FL.


tessa ries

tessa ries

Tessa Ries

M.S. Student, Plant Pathology and Microbiology

riestessa@tamu.edu

Tessa  grew up on a farm in Red wing, Minnesota. She is a master’s student in Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Texas A&M University. Her focus is on beneficial plant bacteria that colonize roots and increase drought tolerance. Bacteria from relationships with plant roots that can increase plant health and productivity in extreme drought conditions. The title of her research is: “Understanding Selection of Beneficial Bacteria by Drought Tolerant Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Cultivars.” Increased understanding of how plants regulate beneficial microbes may allow for development of plants capable of recruiting beneficial microbiomes that are critical for increasing production in extreme environments. She is interested in helping small scale farmers improve production in low input, high environmental stress conditions. Outside of school, Tessa focuses on faith based approaches to help young people move forward with a higher purpose.


DRUTDAMAN BHANGU

DRUTDAMAN BHANGU

Drutdaman Bhangu

Ph.D. Student, Soil and Crop Science

ddbhangu1@tamu.edu

Daman is from St.Louis, Missouri.  He is currently pursing his PhD under Dr. Wayne Smith and Dr.Hongbin Zhang in a proof of concept study with in comparing gene based breeding with field based breeding.  He will analyze gene based selection methods as well as traditional, field based, selection methods in two different populations of upland cotton experimental varieties.  Daman recently completed my master’s degree in plant breeding at Texas A&M in August 2016.  His master’s research focused on a line by tester analysis of chromosome substitution lines in cotton for fiber quality traits.


lorin harvey

lorin harvey

Lorin Harvey

Ph.D. Student, Soil and Crop Science

fulofenergy@tamu.edu

Lorin is currently a first year Ph.D student under the guidance of Dr. Bill Rooney in the Sorghum Breeding Program. His current research is focused on sorghum inbred parents predictive power of hybrid performance, as well as data mining historical sorghum performance data to uncover overlooked trends and traits of importance.  He received his M.S. in Plant Breeding at Texas A&M University and his B.S. in Agronomy at Iowa State University. Lorin grew up in Grimes, IA. 


Past Committees


2015 Organization Committee

(Right to left: brian pfeiffer, laura masor, laura ann mcloud, sean carver)

2016 ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE (right to left: francisco gomze, brian pfeiffer, laura masor, ammani kyanam, smit dhakal, dustin wilkerson)

2016 ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE

(right to left: francisco gomze, brian pfeiffer, laura masor, ammani kyanam, smit dhakal, dustin wilkerson)