Our Team


Tommy Carter—Crop Science and Research Geneticist USDA/ARS. Tommy’s research is focused on broadening the genetic diversity in applied U.S. soybean breeding and breeding for tolerance to drought, the number one environmental limitation to soybean yield.


Colleen Doherty—Structural and Molecular Biochemistry. Employs biochemistry, molecular biology, network analysis, and statistical learning to understanding how plants perceive and respond to abiotic stress, and the intersection between the circadian clock and stress responses.


Ron Heiniger—Crop Science.  Integrates production, management and agronomic innovation with crop ecology and simulation modeling for cropping systems.  Works closely with farm cooperators to improve crop production management by increased use of global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) for yield mapping, soil grid sampling, and variable rate application of nutrients, seed, and pesticides. 


Josh Heitman—Soil Science. Studies the movement of heat, water, and chemicals in the soil and how this impacts the terrestrial environment.  Areas of emphasis include (i) coupled soil heat and water transfer, (ii) chemical transport in agricultural systems, and (iii) thermal measurement techniques.


Shuijin Hu—Plant Pathology.  Studies the effects of disturbance such as conventional farming and elevated atmospheric CO2 on soil microbes and soil food web interactions, ecosystem carbon/nitrogen cycling and carbon sequestration.


Lisa Guion Jones—professor of Agricultural and Extension Education and Assistant Dean for Diversity, Outreach and Engagement.


Michael Kudenov—Electrical and Computer Engineering. Development of novel imaging systems spanning ultraviolet through the thermal infrared.


Terri Long—Plant and Microbe Biology.  Uses genomic, molecular biology, and genetic approaches to elucidate gene regulatory networks involved in plant iron homeostasis


Alison Motsinger-Reif—Statistics. Develops statistical methods to detect complex predictive models in extensive datasets. An authority on Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction she heads the in-house Bioinformatics Consulting Service for NCSU.


Gary Payne—Plant Pathology.  Employs genomic and applied approaches to understand plant diseases and to manage mycotoxin contamination in maize.


Wei Shi—Soil Science. Studies biochemical, ecological and physiological functioning of soil and environmental microorganisms. Current research emphasis is on soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration, soil nitrogen transformation kinetics, and microbial community structure and function.


Gail Wilkerson—Crop Science and Statistics. Develops and refines crop simulation models for root growth, water uptake, stress from drought and excess water, and crop growth. 


Jeff White—Soil Science.  Studies site-specific soil fertility, productivity, and nutrient management for precision agriculture, with an emphasis on remote sensing and related geospatial technologies, and the use of aerial and satellite remote sensing (passive microwave radiometry and radar) to estimate soil moisture.


Mohamed Youssef—Biological and Agricultural Engineering.  Conducts research related to the hydrology and biogeochemistry of agricultural and forested lands with high water table soils focusing on water, nutrient, and plant growth models to design smart irrigation and water management systems.