Alumni

Sydney Graham

Sydney was a M.S. Graduate Research Assistant with the program from 2018 through 2021. Her research focused on identifying putative genes that impact freeze tolerance in St. Augustinegrass through validation of previously identified QTL, in addition to analyzing a multi-environment advanced trial in St. Augustinegrass. Sydney currently works for Syngenta as a Greenhouse Technician.

 

 

 


M. Carolina Zuleta

Carolina was a research specialist with the program from the very beginning in 2010 until 2020. She managed the molecular laboratory and our pathology projects in the phytotron. Carolina moved to the business area after completing an MBA at NC State and is now a Scrum Master.

 

 

 


Jessica Brown

Jessica was an M.S. Graduate Research Assistant with the program from 2017 through 2019. Her thesis focused on 1) identifying QTL associated with freeze tolerance under controlled environmental conditions and 2) proteomic analysis of differentially expressed freezing associated proteins.

 

 

 

 


Kelly A. Moore

Kelly was a graduate research assistant with the program from 2015 to 2017. Her MS research focused on evaluating levels of genetic diversity for nutrient uptake ability in Miscanthus and Arundo germplasm. Kelly recently accepted an assistant breeder position with Bayer at Urbana-Champaign, IL.

 

 

 

 


McCamy H. Pruitt

McCamy was a graduate research assistant with the program from 2014 to 2017. Her MS research focused on genetic and physiological components of freeze tolerance in zoysiagrass. McCamy works currently for the NC Food Bank where she is putting her amazing science communication skills to good use.

 

 

 

 


Jeffrey C. Dunne

Jeff completed his PhD on the application conventional and molecular tools to bermudagrass breeding in the summer of 2016. He then went on to work as a post-doctoral researcher in Dr. Jim Holland’s Maize Breeding and Genetics program. Jeff is currently an assistant professor in peanut breeding at North Carolina State University.

 


Jennifer A. Kimball

Jenny completed a MS degree with our program in 2011 working on the use of molecular markers for assessing genetic diversity in Zoysiagrass. She then completed her PhD in the fall of 2015 working on combining conventional and molecular breeding methods for improving freezing tolerance in St. Augustinegrass.  Jenny is currently an assistant professor in wild rice breeding and genetics at the University of Minnesota.

 

 


Steven E. Mulkey

Steve was an M.S. graduate research assistant with the program from 2010 to 2013. He worked on developing SSR markers for St. Augustinegrass using large-scale sequencing technology and using those markers to map QTL associated with resistance to gray leaf spot. After graduation, Steve got a Ph.D. with the NCSU small grains breeding program and is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota.

 


W. Casey Reynolds

Casey was a research specialist for the program from 2010 until 2013. His responsibilities included managing all field and greenhouse trials and providing support with our pathology projects in the phytotron. He obtained a Ph.D. in turfgrass management in 2013. Casey is currently the Executive Director for Turf Producers International (TPI).

 

 

 


Tito E. Claure.

Tito was a member of the program from 2009 until 2011. His M.S. research focused on developing methods for evaluation of cold tolerance in St. Augustinegrass. After graduation, Tito returned to his native Bolivia where he currently works as a fava bean breeder for Pairumani’s Phytoecogenetic Research Centre.