Edward Buckler, a Cornell and U.S. Department of Agriculture research geneticist, was elected a new member of the National Academy of Sciences April 29.
Buckler is a USDA–Agricultural Research Station (ARS) scientist in Cornell’s Institute for Genomic Diversity and an adjunct professor in Cornell’s Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics. He was one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries recognized by the academy for “their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”
Buckler uses genomics and statistical genetics to understand and dissect complex traits in maize, biofuel grasses, cassava and grapes. In the lab, he and colleagues exploit the natural diversity of plant genomes to identify sets of genes and single genes responsible for genetic variation.
He is working to develop seeds for breeders and researchers to use to dissect complex traits, characterize genetic diversity and to understand such traits as drought tolerance, nitrogen use, basic development, carbon metabolism and vitamin A and E content.
Buckler’s research group also develops software tools to improve analyses. These resources and tools are intended as template systems that may be more widely applied to research on other crops, animals and human genetics.
Buckler received his Ph.D. (1997) in biological sciences from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He served as an assistant professor of genetics and a USDA–ARS research geneticist at North Carolina State University from 1998 to 2003, before starting at the USDA/ARS Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health at Cornell in 2003.
He is a recipient of the ARS’ Outstanding Early Career and Senior Scientist awards; the Arthur S. Fleming Award, given by the U.S. government for outstanding service at a federal agency; USDA Secretary’s Honor Award for developing the science for improving agricultural productivity; and is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and – with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council – provides science, technology and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.