Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 12:20pm
Jessica Rutkoski, PhD
Assistant Professor of Small Grains Breeding
Jessica received a Bachelor of Science degree in genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. During her time at Wisconsin she worked for Professor Bill Tracy’s sweetcorn breeding program where she developed a love for plant breeding. Shortly after graduation, Jessica began her PhD work at Cornell University under the direction of wheat breeder and plant breeding professor Mark Sorrells. Jessica’s PhD research focused on genomic selection for quantitative disease resistance in wheat, and it included one of the first empirical genomic selection experiments in plants. After receiving her PhD in 2014, Jessica took a position as an assistant professor at Cornell and an adjunct associate scientist at CIMMYT working on integrating genomic selection and high-throughput phenotyping to predict breeding values for yield in wheat. Jessica then led the quantitative genetics cluster at the international rice research institute (IRRI) where her research focused on improving rice breeding efficiency and monitoring breeding program effectiveness and where she was a PI for the Cornell-based GOBii project. She is now an Assistant Professor and Small Grain Breeder at the University of Illinois where she works on developing wheat and oat varieties and breeding methodology research.