Canadian Scientist to Join Iowa State as Monsanto Chair in Soybean Breeding

March 15th, 2013

AMES, Iowa -- A Canadian agronomist will soon begin work as the new Monsanto Chair in Soybean Breeding at Iowa State University.

Asheesh "Danny" Singh, a research scientist and wheat breeder at the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, will join Iowa State's Department of Agronomy as an assistant professor April 1. He will support faculty breeding research and graduate students pursuing degrees in plant breeding.

Monsanto Company, an agricultural technology company, donated the funds in 2011 to create the chair to support the university's mission to recruit and retain outstanding faculty members in the agronomy department. The funding also assists the chair and his graduate students in achieving a level of excellence in soybean breeding research.

"Monsanto has been a longtime partner of Iowa State University and has a long history of support for our plant breeding programs," said Kendall Lamkey, chair of the Department of Agronomy. "Dr. Singh, as the Monsanto Chair in Soybean Breeding, will expand our soybean research capabilities, as well as support the preparation of students for successful careers in agriculture."

"Investment in breeding programs at the university level is critical to continued improvement in developing more productive and sustainable crops," said Sam Eathington, Monsanto vice president of global plant breeding. "Monsanto is pleased to partner with Iowa State in supporting research that will benefit the next generation of breeders, Iowa soybean growers and agriculture."

Singh earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture and animal husbandry from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in India, a master's degree in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Saskatchewan and a doctorate in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Guelph.

Iowa State plant-breeding research, with long-standing support of Iowa's soybean growers, has led to development of soybeans with improved yield, disease and insect resistance and other agronomic traits -- innovations used by public and private breeders along with release for commercial production.

Soybean breeding at Iowa State aimed at enhanced soybean oil traits has resulted in release of more than 180 varieties over the years, trained more than 80 graduate students and provided research experience to hundreds of undergraduates.

Contacts: 

Kendall Lamkey, Agronomy, (515) 294-7826, krlamkey@iastate.edu
Ed Adcock, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communication Service, (515) 294-2314, edadcock@iastate.edu