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Seth C. Murray

Murray, Seth C.
Seth C. Murray
Associate Professor
Agronomy Field Lab
Ph.D., Cornell University, 2008

Dr. Murray is working in Washington, D.C. from September 2016 through August 2017 as the Senior Advisor for Agricultural Systems in The Office of the Chief Scientist at USDA

Specialty:Butler Chair, Corn Breeding and Genetics

Support Staff and Students

Steven Anderson | Justine Christman | Fabian Echeverria | Zoran IlievskiJacob Pekar | | Nathalia Penna Cruzato | Colby Ratcliff | David Rooney | Nancy Wahl

Research. Dr. Murray’s research interests focus on improving the productivity, sustainability (economic and environmental) and quality of agricultural production through scientific research and development; mostly in maize (corn). The approaches used to conduct this research include 1) high-throughput field phenotyping (UAVs/drones, ground vehicles, NIRS), 2) molecular quantitative genetic discovery (including QTL mapping, GWAS), 3) statistical modeling and novel analysis methods (including big data and metanalysis), 4) development of new breeding and genetics approaches (including use of computer simulations), and ultimately 5) applied maize (corn) field breeding (classical and molecular). Primary traits of interest for discovering genetic variation and improving in maize for are yield, southern adaptation, stress (aflatoxin resistance, drought tolerance), plant height, composition (colored grain, high grain antioxidants, low phosphorus), and perennialism. Graduate student training is deeply embedded in all of my research.

Teach. Dr. Murray teaches an upper-level undergraduate writing intensive course (SCSC 481) each Fall, a graduate course in Molecular Quantitative Genetics in Plant Breeding (SCSC 643) each Spring, and the graduate seminar course for the Department (SCSC 681) each semester. (Dr. Murray will not be teaching F’16 – Su’17 while he is in Washington D.C. serving the USDA)

Service. Dr. Murray is the recent Founder and Editor of “The Plant Phenome Journal”, an Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Agronomy Society of America (ASA) open-access society journal. He has served as an Associate Editor for Crop Science and the Journal of Plant Registrations for a combined 11 years. He formerly served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) for six years, as C-1 Division Chair in CSSA, and as a scientific meeting organizer for meetings including the American Seed Trade Association CSS conference (ASTA), the Texas Plant Protection Association (TPPA), and the Genetics of Maize-Microbe Interactions Workshop. He has served on a number of federal grant review panels and/or as an ad-hoc reviewer for ARPA-e, NIFA, >NSF-BREAD, NSF-PGRP, and USDA-DOE.

Awards. Crop Science Society of America, Young Crop Scientist Award, 2014
National Association of Plant Breeders Early Career Award, 2013
The Barbara McClintock Graduate Student Award, Cornell College of Ag. & Life Sci., 2007
Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America, 1998

Courses Taught

SCSC 643. Quantitative Genetics and Plant Breeding. (3-0). Credit 3. Classical, applied and molecular aspects of quantitative genetics in plant breeding; genetic relationships; genetic diversity; genetic phenomena (linkage, heterosis and epistasis); genotype by environment interaction; mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL); genomic and marker-assisted selection; application of statistical soft¬ware. Prerequisites: STAT 651, SCSC 642 or GENE 613; or approval of instructor. Cross-listed with GENE 643.

SCSC 681. Seminar. Credit 1 each semester. For graduate students and staff members in soils and crops; presen¬tation and discussion of special topics and research data; participation required of all graduate students in agronomy.

SCSC 481. Senior Seminar. (2-0). Credit 2. Capstone course bringing together student experiences, exams, and exercises necessary for completing and assessing curriculum program learning outcomes. Prerequisite: Senior classification.