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He's the leader of the bunch, you know him well

Stephen Pearce
Assistant Professor

Stephen Pearce is an Assistant Professor in Wheat Functional Genomics at Colorado State University. Stephen completed research towards his PhD at Rothamsted Research (UK) in 2009 and earned an MSc from the University of Sussex (2005) and a BSc from the University of Leeds (2003). His research interests lie in the application of molecular biology and bioinformatics approaches to improve wheat yield and quality.

Curriculum vitae

Dr. Karl Ravet

Research Scientist III

Karl Ravet is a Research Scientist III who joined the Crop Genomics lab in January 2018. Karl completed his PhD in the “Integrative Biology Institute for Plants-CNRS-INRA” in Montpellier (France) in 2008. Since then Karl has been conducting several research programs at CSU on arabidopsis, poplar, sugar beet, sorghum, and various weedy species. Karl’s research interests include plant nutrition, photosynthesis, stress response, and the evolution of traits such as herbicide resistance. Karl combines physiological, biochemical, molecular, genetic, genomics, bioinformatics and imaging tools to address important biological questions related to gene function and regulation. Karl is currently applying CRISPR/Cas9 tools to develop novel traits in elite winter wheat varieties.

Curriculum vitae

Andrew Katz

PhD Student

Andrew joined the Pearce Lab August of 2017. He is characterizing a QTL on chromosome 6BL that affects spikelet number per spike in hard winter wheat as part of the Wheat Coordinated Agricultural Program ( He is also working to develop CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing capabilities in Colorado Wheat Varieties. Andrew received his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Purdue University in May of 2014 where he investigated the molecular arms race between the Hessian Fly and Winter Wheat. He then moved on to the Joint Genome Institute where he built molecular tools for Brachypodiumspecies. While there, Andrew focused on mycological and microbial plant interactions. Andrew hopes to one day lead a plant breeding program that utilizes a diverse tool box of molecular and agronomic tools.

Curriculum Vitae

Yucong Xie


PhD Student

Yucong is a Ph.D. student in the Stephen Pearce lab since 2018 fall. She is now interested in utilizing functional genomic, molecular genetics, transcriptomic, and bioinformatic tools to identify new candidate genes for Wheat Streak Mosaic virus (WSMV) resistant traits in Colorado winter wheat varieties. Yucong completed her BSc from Huazhong Agricultural University in China (2015) and MSc from University of Florida (2017) with a focus on Horticultural Sciences.

Carl VanGessel

PhD Student

Carl joined the Pearce lab in Spring 2019 as a Ph.D. student interested in genomic analysis of wheat. His work focuses on characterization of phenological response to ambient temperature using functional genomic, transcriptomic, and bioinformatics tools. Carl also plans to work on a gene-editing pipeline for CO winter wheat varieties and study gene-trait associations using TILLING populations and genetic manipulation techniques. He is also a member of Dr. Scott Haley’s Wheat Breeding program at CSU. Carl received his B.S. in Biology from Catholic University and M.S. in Plant Pathology from North Carolina State University where he focused on mapping resistance to Ug99-stem rust in wheat.

Patricia Vail

Undergraduate Student

Patricia’s research is focused on using gene editing tools to develop constructs that will improve drought tolerance and wheat quality. She is a Soil and Crop Sciences major with a focus in plant genetics.

Mallory Wilemon

Undergraduate Student

Mallory joined the Pearce Lab in June 2018 and assists with field work, data collection, and various projects. She is excited about the opportunity to supplement in-class learning with lab work, furthering her knowledge in molecular genetic and transcriptomic tools and their applications in agronomy. She is a Soil and Crop Sciences major with a concentration in plant biotechnology, genetics, and breeding.

Alex Benitez

Undergraduate Student

Alex’s research is focused on the further development and optimization of plant tissue culture in wheat which can be used for genetic transformations. He is a Chemical and Biological major and has career plans to be an engineer.

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