Wanda W. Collins, Ph.D., currently is the Deputy Director General for Research at the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru. She is the author of more than 40 journal articles on genetics and plant breeding, several book chapters, and numerous extension and popular publications.
Dr. Collins is a graduate of North Carolina State University where she received her Ph.D. in both Plant Pathology and Genetics in 1976. She joined the school's Department of Horticultural Science that same year and became a full professor in 1986. She has been doing research on vegetable breeding and genetics (sweetpotato and potato) since 1976 and traveled to Peru to research the genetic resources of the Ipomoea species (wild relatives of the sweetpotato). Between 1996 and 1998, Dr. Collins also spent over 2 years on study leave at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. as Agricultural Research Advisor, Environmentally Sustainable Development Vice Presidency.
She is one of the originators and the first chair of the Sweetpotato Crop Genetics Committee which advises the U.S. Germplasm System on sweetpotato germplasm. Her many memberships and contributions to the field of horticulture include Chair of the Board of Trustees for the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, member of the Executive Board for the American Society of Horticultural Science, and as the current President of the American Society of Horticultural Science.
Calvin O. Qualset, Ph.D., is Director of the Genetic Resources Conservation Program of the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of California, Davis. Before retiring as a professor in 1994, he held the positions of Chair of the Department of Agronomy and Range Science and Assistant Dean for Plant Sciences and Pest Management at UC Davis. He also served as Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from 1964 to 1967 before moving to California.
He is active in developing biological conservation strategies and conducts research on plant genetic resource conservation and genetics. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Type Culture Collection as a representative of the Genetics Society of America. He coordinates the International Triticeae Mapping Initiative and is Principal Investigator on McKnight Foundation and BARD-funded projects in Mexico and Israel on in situ conservation of crop plants and genetic mapping of wheat. He has served on numerous reviews of international centers for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, of university departments, and of current issues in agriculture and biology for the National Science Foundation and National Research Council.
Dr. Qualset held Fulbright Fellowships to Australia and Yugoslavia and served as president of the American Society of Agronomy and of the Crop Science Society of America. He has received citations for work in plant breeding from the U.S. National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders and the Mexican National Institute of Agriculture and Forestry. He has authored more than 190 scientific papers and developed numerous varieties of wheat, oat, and triticale.
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