My efforts are focused on supporting the Texas cotton industry by creating cotton varieties that efficiently use resources, promote sustainable production practices, and improve the competitiveness of Texas cotton in the international marketplace. Objectives of my cotton breeding program are to develop high-yielding germplasm with enhanced drought tolerance and resistance to insects endemic to Texas. I make use of interspecific hybridization and complex crosses of elite parents to create unique populations. I then screen and select from segregating populations for yield components, drought resistance, insect pest and disease tolerance, and fiber traits. Our testing program ranges throughout South and Central Texas. I have an international project in Azerbaijan focused on the improvement of cotton. I also provide field trial testing services for several private industry organizations.
The collegiate setting is a time and place where students should seek and develop philosophies for their lives, build strong networks, and prepare themselves for leadership roles in our society. I emphasize creative and critical thinking, practical knowledge, and encourage students to actively engage with the scientific community. I teach SCSC 304 “Plant Breeding and Genetics” in a conventional, honors, and distance delivered format; SCSC 305 “Professional Development in Agronomy”; SCSC 489 “Agriculture in Azerbaijan” a study abroad course; and SCSC 489 “Organic Crop Production”; as well as supervise internships, directed studies, and undergraduate research. I believe high-impact learning experiences challenge students to solve problems and spark intellectual curiosity, promotes collaboration, demonstrates how knowledge can be practically applied, and offers reflection upon the learning process.
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