We value working with people different from ourselves

Principal Investigator

Rex Bernardo has been on the faculty at the University of Minnesota since 2000. He obtained a B.S. degree in agriculture, majoring in plant breeding, at the Visayas State College of Agriculture in the Philippines in 1984. He graduated summa cum laude and worked in a national breeding program for sweet potato. In 1988 he obtained a Ph.D. degree in plant breeding at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to coming to Minnesota, Dr. Bernardo was a research scientist at Limagrain Genetics, Champaign, Illinois for 9 years and a faculty member at Purdue University for 3 years. He has been a visiting scientist at INRA in Gif-sur-Yvette, France; Limagrain Europe in Riom, France; Wageningen University in the Netherlands; CIRAD in Montpellier, France; BOKU University near Vienna, Austria; and University of Bologna in Italy.

Professor Bernardo has served as an associate editor and a technical editor of Crop Science and as an editor of Theoretical and Applied Genetics. His awards include the Young Crop Scientist Award from the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) in 1999; Fellow of CSSA in 2005; Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 2005; Plant Breeding Impact Award from the National Association of Plant Breeders in 2015; and Crop Science Research Award from CSSA in 2019.

Professor Bernardo’s top 5 strengths from StengthsFinders are Strategic, Belief, Learner, Responsibility, and Ideation. In his leisure time, Rex enjoys playing the acoustic guitar, taking his wife, Chona, on dates (usually a restaurant, swing dancing, or tandem biking), and hanging out with their six adult F1 progeny and three F2 progeny.

Current Research Group

Isaias Ariza-Hernandez obtained his B.A. from Universidad Autonoma Chapingo and his M.S at Colegio de Postgraduados in Mexico. In his Ph.D. research, Isaias is investigating (i) models to predict across-environment yield stability in biparental maize populations and (ii) machine learning techniques to replicate breeders’ selection decisions. Beyond his academic pursuits, Isaias likes to spend time with his family and, since his arrival in Minnesota, has developed a passion for kayaking.

Inés Rebollo obtained both her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Universidad de la República of Uruguay. Her Ph.D. research focuses on chromosome and population-specific approaches for genomewide prediction. Inés enjoys reading, cooking, and being around friends, family, and plants.

John Cameron obtained his B.S. in botany from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in plant breeding, with a minor in statistics, from Iowa State University. His Ph.D. research was on mathematical models and algorithms from operations research to systematically design and optimize plant breeding projects. In his postdoctoral research, John is investigating how to optimize targeted recombination in the context of genomewide prediction. In his free time, he enjoys roughhousing with his 6-year-old daughter Emilia, playing the guitar, and doing yoga.