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Larry-Yellowstone- editLarry Smart is an Associate Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the Horticultural Section, Cornell University, at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva, NY. He is a plant geneticist and physiologist who directs the largest shrub willow breeding program in North America established in 1998 at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse and moved to Cornell in 2009. The work in Larry’s lab is focused on developing and testing new willow varieties that produce high yields on marginal land for bioenergy, as well as studying the basic genetic mechanisms that determine variation and regulation of traits important for bioenergy and biofuels production. Contact Larry by email or visit his profile at CALS.

Current Lab Members

eric_fabiox willowpediaEric Fabio is a PhD candidate of Horticulture in the Horticulture Section at Cornell University. His research interests are focused on understanding the interactions between environmental and physiological factors influencing shrub willow biomass production and yield. This work aims to improve the current knowledge of constraints to willow yield on marginal land and to aid in the selection of cultivars developed specifically for conditions in the Northeastern U.S. Ultimately a set of guidelines and recommendations will be developed that aid willow growers in achieving yield goals, while improving the sustainability of willow production. Contact Eric by email.


Triploid hybrid RNA-Seq_Height measurements_2015 04 09_0011Craig Carlson is a Ph.D. candidate of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University, NYSAES in Geneva, NY. His research focuses on the genetics and genomics of hybrid vigor in shrub willow. Utilizing RNA-Seq, his primary goal is to correlate modules of gene expression with traits important for biofuel production within and among diverse hybrid pedigrees. This work will complement the growing genomics resources and predictive tools to aid the improvement of hybrid shrub willow bioenergy crops. He is also involved in linkage mapping, genome assembly, polyploidy, and sex determination in Salix spp. Contact Craig by email.

Dustin Wilkerson is a PhD candidate of Plant Breeding in the Horticulture Section at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. His primary research focuses on the genetic characterization of pest and disease resistance traits in common parent shrub willow mapping populations. Contact Dustin by email.





 Collaborators at Cornell

The George Hudler Lab

Hudler picGeorge Hudler is a professor in the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section at Cornell. He conducts active outreach and research programs in the area of tree pathology, including publication of an award-winning, bi-weekly pest management newsletter, BRANCHING OUT – An Integrated Pest Management Newsletter for Tree and Shrub Care.  Dr. Hudler is also the author of a book of the same title as his popular undergraduate course – Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds.  Dr. Hudler’s interest in willow production focuses on the taxonomy and etiology of fungal pathogens, especially the rusts. Contact George by email or visit his lab website.


The Chris Smart Lab

chris smartChris Smart is the Director of the School of Integrative Plant Science and a Professor in the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section with a broad background in disease diagnosis, epidemiology, population genetics, and resistance mechanisms across many taxa of pathogens.  Her main interests are in diseases of cucurbits, solanaceous crops, and other vegetables, but she has begun to study leaf rusts (Melampsora spp.) that cause disease on shrub willow, including population diversity and mechanisms of resistance.  Visit her lab web site.




The Dan Aneshansley Lab

DanAneshansleyEditFX45Dec2004Dan Aneshansley is part of the department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, where his teaching interests include instrumentation and circuit design. He obtained his Ph. D in electrical engineering at Cornell University and is currently a member of the American society of Agricultural Engineers, the Instrument Society of America, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Much of his research focuses on the application of electronics to agriculture for the purpose of data collection. Other studies have examined mechanisms that plants and insects use for defense. His more recent projects involve the development of agricultural equipment modifications and the evaluation of willow biomass production techniques. Contact Dan by email or visit his profile at CALS.

The Greg Loeb Lab

GregLoebGreg Loeb recieved his training in insect ecology (Ph.D. from UC Davis in Entomology) with interests in plant/herbivore interactions, integrated pest management and biological control with specific application to solving pest problems while minimizing the use of pesticides. His research with shrub willow has focused on assessing the impact of arthropod pests and investigating the use of polyculture plantings to reduce pest loads and enhance biological control. Contact Greg by email or visit his lab website at CALS.

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