Our group is part of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and we are closely affiliated with the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. We have lab-specific research interests but also contribute bioinformatic and design support for many ARS projects across the Southeastern United States. Please contact us with questions, particularly if you are looking for graduate or postdoctoral experience that intersects crop improvement, genomics, and bioinformatics.

Open Positions

Postdoctoral researcher in the genomics of pollinator biology

A two-year fully funded position with possibility of extension. In collaboration with the USDA’s Honey Bee Lab, this position will focus on the genomics of both domesticated bees and Apis genus as a whole.

Current group

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Justin Vaughn, Principal Investigator Andrew Ontano, Postdoctoral Researcher Dhanushya Ramachandran, Postdoctoral Researcher
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Rick Field, Postdoctoral Researcher Sameer Pokhrel, Graduate Researcher


Gene annotation and effect prediction in pan-genomic context Historical genomics of complex traits in soybean and rice Gene Sieve: Fully exploiting model systems for gene identification
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Iterative QTL-seq applied to multi-genic traits in peanut and rice Simulation and visualization of controlled crosses Agrivoltaics for southeastern US vegetable production
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Google Scholar summary


PanPipes Graph-enabled genotyping in a comparative genomics framework

Crossword A genomics-enabled simulation language for design and optimization of breeding schemes and genetic mapping experiments

QTLsurge Software for iterative genotyping design in a QTL-seq experiment

Former Members

Xuewen Wang, Research Associate (now at Center for Human Identification)

Brian Nadon, Postdoctoral Research Associate (now at Thermo Fisher Scientific)

Brian Abernathy, Bioinformatician (now at Wild Peanut Lab, UGA)

Walid Korani, Postdoctoral Research Associate (now at HudsonAlpha)

The Basic Idea

by Waylon Vaughn