I started my research career at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), where I evaluated the genetic diversity of an under-utilized crop, Bambara groundnut. Subsequently, as a research supervisor, I worked on the crop improvement and genetics of bananas and plantains. My Ph.D. research at Clemson University involved understanding the genetics of chilling requirement and dormancy bud break in apricot. In part, my post-doctoral research involved mapping for resistance to chestnut blight and root rot, as well as developing genetic and genomic resources for this tree crop. Further post-doctoral experience focused on identifying genetic factors underlying quantitative disease resistance to various maize diseases and a study to dissect the impact of rare and common alleles on maize evolution and domestication from its wild ancestor, teosinte.
Before joining the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department at UTIA, I worked as a research assistant professor on developing genetic and genomic tools for sweetpotato improvement at the Dept. of Horticultural Science, NCSU. By integrating quantitative genetics and the more recent genomic technologies, my goal is to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying important agronomic traits. This approach will ultimately facilitate more targeted and rapid strategies for crop improvement.