Luis Ibarra is a Forestry Engineer from Chile where he is an employee of Bioforest, which is the research company of Arauco. Within Arauco Luis is is a genetic improvement researcher. Here at NCSU Luis is working on a PhD in forest genetics, studying how to estimate the breeding values in hybrid populations of P. patula x P. tecunumanii, P. elliottii x P. caribaea and E. nitens x E. globulus in order to select the best parents with a goal of producing the best hybrids based on growth trait.
Colin Jackson is a masters student in forest genetics. Originally from Oklahoma, Colin got is undergraduate degree in microbiology with an emphasis in cell and molecular biology from Oklahoma State University. His project focuses on using sequence data for SNP calling and comparative genomics in tropical and subtropical pine species.
Austin Thomas’s PhD research is focused on working to evaluate and select Fraser fir clones with increased tolerance to the balsam woolly adelgid to mitigate the impact of this pest and reduce overall pesticide usage for North Carolina’s Christmas tree industry. Results of this work will inform decisions on seed usage from existing Fraser fir seed orchards and breeding designs for developing additional sources of adelgid tolerance.