Assistant professor IP-CALS, Adjunct associate scientist CIMMYT
Jessica Rutkoski serves as an adjunct assistant professor of plant breeding, assistant professor of international programs of the college of agriculture and life sciences (IP-CALS), and adjunct associate scientist at the international maize and wheat improvement center (CIMMYT).
Her research focuses on the implementation of genomic selection to accelerate genetic gain in wheat especially for the improvement of yield, abiotic stress tolerance, and quantitative disease resistance to enhance resistance durability. As part of the durable rust resistance in wheat project, Jessica implemented genomic selection for the improvement of quantitative stem rust resistance and conducted the first experiment in wheat comparing genetic gain from phenotypic and genomic selection based on markers only.
Jessica spends the majority of her time working alongside CIMMYT breeders and scientists at wheat stations in Mexico where her goal is to conduct experiments to evaluate new genomic-assisted breeding methods in the context of an effective large-scale wheat breeding program. In this way, the experimental results can directly translate into better breeding pipelines and greater genetic gains especially at CIMMYT, a key wheat improvement network hub which distributes elite germplasm to hundreds of global partners.
Jessica teaches a new course entitled “Selection theory and methods” (PLBR 4080) which aims to prepare students to design effective and sustainable breeding programs and to implement modern selection tools.