DEPARTMENT OF PLANT SCIENCES | NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
WHAT WE DO:
We support 10 breeding programs and Research Extension agronomist affiliated to North Dakota State University on the use of technology that help them to accelerate the advancement of germplasm across different database pipelines.
I am the head of the Department of Plant Sciences and barley breeder at North Dakota State University. My teaching responsibilities include teaching a graduate level biometrics class each fall. I earned my Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Agronomy from North Dakota State University and my B.Sc. degree in Agronomy from the University of Minnesota. The primary goal of my breeding project is to release and develop two-rowed and six-rowed malting barley varieties acceptable to barley producers in North Dakota, adjacent states, and the malting and brewing industry. My current research efforts include the determination of DNA “fingerprints” that differentiate varieties for specific brewer’s needs and identification of genes for resistance to pre-harvest sprouting.
Additionally, I lead the Breeding Pipeline Database Managers team and provide the guidelines and support on the statistical analysis of data.
ANA MARIA HEILMAN
I am plant biologist and data scientist with extensive training in plant breeding, statistical analysis, data visualizations, molecular biology and tissue culture. I got a M.Sc. in Biological Sciences from University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and a Ph.D. in Plant Sciences from North Dakota State University.
My professional experiences includes working as a data manager for the past seven years and previously as a molecular biologist and tissue culture expert.
Since 2016, when I joined NDSU I have worked as a breeding pipeline database manager were I support plant breeders/faculty, staff and students with their data analytic needs. I am leading the expansion of technology transference and deployment of software products that supports our NDSU breeding operations. I also serve as IT liaison for the Department of Plant Sciences to technical planning groups in the Information Technology and Ag Communications Divisions.
My career in plant biology started with field, greenhouse and lab work. Over time, I have transitioned to computational work involving server maintenance, DB administration, and data analysis. Along the way, I've earned a M.Sc. in Plant Pathology from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Penn State. I've also picked up some useful coding skills.
At NDSU, my experience is being applied in efforts to update plant breeding programs with modern data management schemes, improved analysis pipelines, and automation of repeated or time-consuming procedures. Additionally, I lead the on-site IT support for our servers including the deployment and maintenance of Windows and Linux OS based systems, virtualization, storage, and firewall security. I also serve as IT liaison for Department of Plant Sciences to technical planning groups in the Information Technology and Ag Communications Divisions.