Dr. Melanie Correll

Gene-based Crop Modeling, Abotic and Biotic Stress Effects on Plants, Plant Microbiome

Dr. Melanie Correll is developing tools to help plant breeders design new plant cultivars to feed the 9 Billion people by 2050. These tools include the Next Generation of Crop models that link plant genetic information to their physiological traits (i.e., their phenotype) across targeted environments. In order to build and improve these models, Correll works with an interdisciplinary team of geneticists, plant breeders, agronomists, computer scientists, and statisticians.

The models that are developed through her program can use field data with over a million data points and require over 10,000 simulation events, so her work firmly fits into the BIG DATA category. Much of her work is performed on the HiPerGator, the high performance computing center at the University of Florida.

As climate changes, crop systems will be under tremendous stresses such as heat or drought stress so plant breeders are working hard to develop genotypes that are adapted to these stresses. The models developed by Correll can shorten the time for plant breeders to develop their cultivars by allowing them the ability to optimize the genetics of the plant for targeted environments without performing costly and time consuming field experiments.

Research

  • NASA-project in development with Dr. John Z. Kiss (Miami University, OH) to be performed on the International Space Station to study the effects of light and gravity on plant form
  • DNA-microarrays to study the effects of light on root gene expression patterns
  • Root growth and development

Teaching

    • ABE 3000C: Applications of Biological Engineering
    • ABE 4662: Quantification of Biological Processes
    • ABE 4905: Industrial Hygiene

Melanie Correll - Associate Professor