Maize Community Awards: Past Winners

R. Emerson Lifetime Maize Genetics Award

L. Stadler Mid-Career Maize Genetics Award

M. Rhoades Early-Career Maize Genetics Award

2018   
The MGEC is pleased to present the 2018 R. Emerson Lifetime Maize Genetics Award to Dr. Ed Coe, Jr. Dr. Coe received his B.S. from the University of Minnesota and his Ph.D from the University of Illinois, and is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri-Columbia and retired from the USDA-ARS after 50 years of service. Dr. Coe has made many seminal contributions to our understanding of maize genetics. He described paramutation at the Booster (B) locus. This research directly influenced the discovery of the field of epigenetics and the regulation of gene function by small RNAs. Dr. Coe also discovered stock 6 that produces haploid progeny at high frequency, which underpins the production of doubled haploid individuals to produce inbred lines. This discovery resulted in millions of dollars of subsequent research and benefited people all over the world by the improvements in seed yield. He also made significant discoveries of the genes controlling anthocyanin production in maize, conducted pioneering studies using radiation to mark cell lineages and study how different populations of cells within the meristem contribute to maize development, created some of the first integrated classical genetic and molecular genetic maps of maize chromosomes, and helped launch online databases as repositories for genetic and genomic information. In addition, Dr. Coe served as the Editor of the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter for 26 continuous years, and along with two co-authors, wrote The Mutants of Maize, the definitive volume of the genetic resources available for this species. Dr. Coe has received numerous awards for his research, including the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal for lifetime contributions to the field of genetics from the Genetics Society of America in 1992, and being elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1963.


The MGEC is pleased to present the 2018 L. Stadler Mid-Career Maize Genetics Award to Dr. Mike Scanlon. Dr. Scanlon received his Ph.D in Genetics from Iowa State University and was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley from 1993-1997. Dr. Scanlon's work has contributed to our understanding of meristem organization and function including: investigation of narrow sheath genes, analysis of the meristem transcriptome, and indentification of quantitative genetic variation for meristem morphology.


The MGEC is pleased to present the 2018 M. Rhoades Early-Career Maize Genetics Award to Dr. James Schnable. Dr. Schnable obtained his B.A. from Cornell University and Ph.D from UC Berkeley. Dr. Schnable's work has contributed to our understanding of the consequences of genome duplication in maize including: the delineation of maize A and B sub-genomes, the discovery of sub-genome dominance, and the identification genes under selection by comparative analysis of maize and sorghum genomes.
2017    The R. Emerson Lifetime Maize Genetics Award was not conceived until 2018.
The MGEC is pleased to present the 2017 L. Stadler Mid-Career Maize Genetics Award to Dr. Paula McSteen. Dr. McSteen received her B.A. from the University of Dublin Trinity College and her Ph.D from the Plant Developmental Genetics University of East Anglia John Innes Center, Norwich, UK. Dr. McSteen's laboratory provided the first genetic evidence that auxin is synthesized from tryptophan in a two-step process in maize. Her lab has also contributed to two Plant Cell papers detailing the role of thiamine in maize development, and a particularly novel discovery that the element boron is involved with meristem development. With support from the NSF, she is currently collaborating with the Kellogg lab to understand the mechanism by which maize makes paired rows of kernels while other grasses such as wheat, rice, and barley make single rows. Her lab has identified a genetic mechanism for the development of a new meristem type through identification of a mutant defective in meristem maintenance. In addition to her research contributions, Dr. McSteen served on the steering committees for the Maize Genetics Conference from 2009-2012 and has served as treasurer from 2010-2017.


The MGEC is pleased to present the 2017 M. Rhoades Early-Career Maize Genetics Award to Dr. Candice Hirsch. Dr. Hirsch obtained her B.S. and Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her work uses genomics, classical genetics, and analysis of natural variation to characterize the genetic basis of phenotypic variation in maize, and applies that information to improving maize cultivars. She has been an author or co-author on 34 papers since 2010. Her research has included documenting maize presence-absence variation, and analyzing genetic variation associated with long-term selection for seed size. Her work on presence-absence variation included anaylsis of transcriptome variation in 500 maize inbred lines and she led the effort to perform a de novo assembly and analysis of PH207. This work, recently published at The Plant Cell highlights the variability in gene presence among maize inbred lines and will provide an extremely valuable resource for the analysis of how structural variation impacts gene expression and phenotype.
2016    The R. Emerson Lifetime Maize Genetics Award was not conceived until 2018.
The MGEC is pleased to present the 2016 L. Stadler Mid-Career Maize Genetics Award to Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra. Dr. Ross-Ibarra obtained his BA and MS from UC Riverside and performed his PhD research at the University of Georgia. Dr. Ross-Ibarra was a post-doctoral researcher with Brandon Gaut at the University of California-Irvine. Dr. Ross-Ibarra has been a faculty member in the Department of Plant Sciences since 2009. His lab has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of population genetics and domestication, improvement and local adaptation in maize. Dr. Ross-Ibarra's group has been a part of over 40 publications since 2009. Dr. Ross-Ibarra has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers 2009 and the DuPont Young Professor Award 2012.

The MGEC is pleased to present the 2016 M. Rhoades Early-Career Maize Genetics Award to Dr. Michael Gore. Dr. Gore received a BS and MS from Virginia Tech and performed his PhD research with Dr. Ed Buckler at Cornell University. Dr. Gore began his independent research career at the USDA Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa AZ 2009-2013 and then moved to the Plant Breeding and Genetics program at Cornell University as an Associate Professor in 2013. Dr. Gore has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of diversity and quantitative trait analysis in maize. He has a research program on basic and applied aspects of provitamin A carotenoid and vitamin E content in maize grain and is very active in the development and application of field-based plant phenotyping systems. He has received the National Association of Plant Breeders Early Career Scientist award in 2012 and the American Society of Plant Biologists Early Career award in 2013.