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Large Data Managers Join Plant Sciences

The Department of Plant Sciences welcomes two new staff members, Dr. Ana Heilman-Morales and Dr. Thomas Walk, each serving as large database breeding pipeline managers.

August 2, 2016

The Department of Plant Sciences welcomes two new staff members, Dr. Ana Heilman-Morales and Dr. Thomas Walk, each serving as large database breeding pipeline managers.

Heilman-Morales is originally from Colombia, where she earned a B.S. in Biology. She earned an M.S. in Plant Biology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Plant Sciences from NDSU in 2013. For the past three years she worked as a data manager for Latin America North at Monsanto in St. Louis, MO, before being hired at NDSU.

Walk earned his M.S. in Plant Pathology from the University of Missouri in 1996 and his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Penn State University in 2005. As a Ph.D. student, he started computer programming, and since graduating has worked primarily in bioinformatics, software development and systems administration at several research institutes. Walk says he is "honored and excited to have this opportunity to contribute to efforts in the Department of Plant Sciences at NDSU."

Heilman-Morales and Walk will assist NDSU plant improvement teams in entering, managing, safeguarding and analyzing phenotype and genotype data using a variety of tools, including relational databases, software packages, and custom scripts. They hope to expedite efficient advancement of germplasm through breeding pipelines for release and/or use as parental material in continued crossing efforts.

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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