Camcore Staff  (NC, USA)


Gary Hodge is Director of Camcore, an international tree breeding and gene conservation program working with 40 industrial and governmental forestry organizations in 17 countries.  Gary is Professor of Forestry at North Carolina State University, and holds a B.S in Forest Management and an M.S. in Forest Genetics from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in Forest Genetics from NC State University.  Prior to his current position, Gary worked for 9 years with the Cooperative Forest Genetics Research Program at the University of Florida.  His research interests are in breeding strategies, quantitative genetics, and wood properties.


acostaJuan Jose Acosta is a Geneticist and Tree Improvement Specialist.  Juan Jose is Research Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University, and holds a B.S in Forest Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and a Ph.D. in Forest Genetics from the University of Florida.  Juan Jose manages the eucalypt breeding and testing program, and works in molecular and quantitative genetic analysis.  Prior to Camcore, Juan Jose worked as a researcher for five years with Smurfit Kappa Colombia.  His research interests include molecular genetics and genomic selection, Near Infrared Spectroscopy applications and data analysis, and breeding strategies.


Willi Woodbridge is Camcore Database Administrator.  Willi holds a B.S. in Plant Ecology from Dartmouth College, and an M.S. in Forestry from Duke University.  Prior to joining Camcore, Willi worked as an Analyst Programmer with the USDA Forest Service.  Willi’s research interests are wood quality of pines, eucalypts, gmelina and teak.




JettonRobert Jetton  is the Domestic Conservation Program Manager for Camcore.  He is Research Associate Professor of Forest Health and Conservation at North Carolina State University and holds a B.S. in Biology from Furman University and M.S. in Forestry and Ph.D. in Entomology from North Carolina State University.  Robert leads Camcore’s research and extension efforts in the conservation and restoration of threatened tree species native to United States.  His research interests include the biology and management of pests and pathogens in natural and planted forests, genetic resource conservation, population genetics, and species restoration.  Robert also teaches FOR 430 Forest  Health and Protection, a required undergraduate course for Forest  Management majors in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources.


Minolta DSCAndy Whittier is Research Forester working primarily with our domestic gene conservation efforts.  Andy is based in Asheville, NC, working in close collaboration with USDA Forest Service scientists to coordinate our species exploration and seed collection efforts.  Andy holds a B.S. in Natural Resource Management and M.S. in Forestry from N.C. State University.




Romeo Jump is Camcore Seed and Pollen Technologist.  Romeo manages all aspects of our seed and pollen inventory, and is responsible for all of our seed and pollen imports and exports.  In addition, Romeo is involved in a wide array of research projects we conduct in the lab and greenhouse at N.C. State University, and in genetic trials overseas.  Romeo holds a B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala.




Robert McGee is Camcore Office Manager.  Robert manages all aspects of our financial and administrative interactions with the university.  Robert has long experience with N.C. State University, and his skills and knowledge help us function smoothly within the sometimes complicated university bureaucracy.


Camcore Staff  (Guatemala)


elmerElmer Gutiérrez is Central America Supervisor.  Elmer began working with Camcore in 1987, and is currently the longest tenured Camcore employee.  Elmer has been involved in species explorations and seed collections throughout Guatemala, Central America, and Mexico.




josueJosué Cotzojay is a Camcore Tree Climber.  Josué works closely with Elmer Gutiérrez doing the hard work of climbing tall trees to collect cones.



Retired Staff


Bill Dvorak, founding director of Camcore, retired in 2014 after 34 years in that position. Bill began his career in forestry with a B.S. in forestry at Michigan State University. Upon completing his undergraduate degree, Bill spent two years working in the Fiji Islands with the US Peace Corps. It was in Fiji that Bill first developed his love for forest genetics and tree improvement, and his passion to put the right species, provenances and genotypes into forest plantations across the globe. Bill continued his education at NC State University, beginning an M.S. program. He took the position of Director of Camcore in 1980, and while working as Director he continued his graduate studies, completing his Ph.D. in 1990.  Bill continues to assist Camcore as an Emeritus Professor.



lopezJuan Luis Lopez is Associate Director of Camcore.  Juan has a B.S. in Forest Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Colombia,  an M.F. in Forest Management from the University of Georgia, a M.S. from University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Forestry from NC State University.  Prior to joining Camcore, Juan worked with Smurfit Kappa Colombia in a number of positions, including Nursery Manager, Operations Manager, and Wood Procurement Manager, and for Olympic Resource Management in Vancouver, Canada.  His research interests are pine hybrids, wood quality, and economic value of tree breeding programs.


Current Students

Lauren Gonzalez is a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University under the supervision of Robert Jetton. Originally from Miami, Florida, Lauren got her bachelor’s of science in biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her master’s of science in biology from Western Carolina University. Her research focuses on the management of Adelges tsugae, hemlock woolly adelgid, as well as conservation of eastern and Carolina hemlock. Through the use of silvicultural techniques, she will study the effects of canopy condition, competition control, and their integration with chemical and biological pest management on the establishment and early growth of hemlock seedlings planted for restoration.



Juan Pedro Posse is working on a PhD in forest genetics, studying the genetic control of wood and growth traits in a large population of E. dunnii.  Juan Pedro works in Uruguay




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.



Gustavo MArtins

Gustavo Martins is a PhD student in Forest Genetics.  Originally from Minas Gerais – Brazil, Gustavo got his undergraduate degree in Forest Engineering and his Master’s degree in Genetic and Plant Breeding from Lavras Federal University – UFLA. He is an employee of RGE/APRIL Asia in Indonesia, where he is  the Eucalyptus Breeding Program Leader. His research focuses on understanding the quantitative genetic base of variation of traits of  Acacia crassicarpa, including reproductive and phenology, tree growth and stem form, wood properties/quality, and biotic resistance traits. The research also considers the evaluation of the potential of genomic technologies to accelerate breeding, increase selection intensity, and improve accuracy of genetic values prediction.

Dominic ManzDominic Manz is an M.S. student working as part of Camcore’s domestic conservation program under the direction of Robert Jetton. For his research he is assessing the susceptibility of eastern and Carolina hemlocks to the root rot pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. He is currently writing up his study results and plans to continue with Camcore as a PhD student beginning in summer 2020 when he will begin a project related to scale insect management in Fraser fir Christmas tree plantations. Prior to joining Camcore, Dominic completed his BS degree in Forestry at NCSU.


  Gina Zabala Martinez is a M.S. student at NCSU  working with Camcore as research assistant under the direction of Robert Jetton.  Gina is from Colombia and holds a B.S in Forest Engineering from Universidad del Cauca (Colombia). In Colombia Gina has worked withSmurfit Kappa Colombia for two years, first in the silviculture team and then as a researcher. Her research focuses on  forest pathology. Through the use of lab and inoculation techniques, she is testing the susceptibility of different families of Eucalyptus to a bacterial pathogen (Ralstonia Solanacearum) to have data in order to propose management strategies for this pathosystem.