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Jessica Barb

Assistant Research Scientist
Plant Biology; Crop & Soil Sciences
Miller Plant Sciences, Rm 4514
Office Phone:

Dr. Barb received her MS and PhD degrees from the Horticultural Science Department at North Carolina State University. She then took a post doc position at UGA working for Drs. Steven Knapp and John Burke in 2009 before starting as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University in 2013. She recently returned to the University of Georgia in 2019 with a split appointment in the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences & Plant Biology.


Research Interests:

My lab focuses on two very different topics. The first is the development of high yielding and long-term sustainable varieties of pearl millet and other small grains for farmers in the Southeastern US. The second is improving pollination biology and pollinator attractiveness of cultivated sunflower, which are both important factors for sunflower farmers as well as hybrid seed producers who make the hybrid seed that farmers plant each year. 

Lab members that work on either of these topics are exposed to research in the field or greenhouse as well as the lab. I am interested in using genetic and genomic analyses and high-throughput phenotyping to better understand the genetic mechanisms of traits that can be altered/improved to benefit different stakeholders in Georgia and elsewhere.


NSF Plant Genome, Co-PI, Investigating how internal and external cues coordinate floral organ development and the consequences for plant reproduction


PhD Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 2008

MS Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 2004

BS Biology with a minor in Horticulture, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 1999

Of note:

Other affiliations: Crop Science Society of America, National Association of Plant Breeders

Plant Biology Undergraduate Affairs Committee Member, October, 2019-present

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