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.

About Us:


Dr. Horsley is the Head of the Department of Plant Sciences and barley breeder at North Dakota State University. He earned his Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Agronomy from North Dakota State University and his B.Sc. degree in Agronomy from the University of Minnesota. The primary goal of his 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. He is the leader of the Breeding Pipeline Database Managers team and provide the guidelines and support on the statistical analysis of data.


Dr. Heilman is a plant breeder and data scientist with experience in statistical analysis and data visualizations. She got a M.Sc. in Biology from University of Puerto Rico and a Ph.D. in Plant Sciences from North Dakota State University.

She supports plant breeders/faculty, staff and students with their data analytic needs and leads the expansion of technology transference and deployment of software products that supports NDSU breeding operations. Additionally, she serves as IT liaison for the Department of Plant Sciences to technical planning groups in the Information Technology and Ag Communications Divisions.


Dr. Walk is a plant scientist with extensive experience in computational work involving server maintenance, DB administration, and data automation. He earned a M.Sc. in Plant Pathology from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Penn State.

In NDSU his experience is being applied in efforts to update plant breeding programs with modern data management schemes and automation of repeated or time-consuming procedures. He supports the on-site IT maintenance for our servers including the deployment of Windows and Linux OS based systems, virtualization, storage, and firewall security. Dr. Walk also serve as IT professional liaison.


Mr. Murillo is a mathematician and statistician with experience in Mixed Model Analysis, R programming, design of experiments, data mining and statistical modeling. He got a M.Sc. in Statistics from University of Puerto Rico and B.Sc. in Mathematics & Statistics from University of Tolima, Colombia.

He is currently working as a Data Analyst and Shiny App Developer for our team, where he is developing FielDHub, a DOE App for the design of augmented and partially replicated designs.

Mr. Murillo is also supporting our breeding teams with the update of databases and data analysis using automated scripts.

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