Jason Brewer is a USDA Biological Science Technician in charge of the field breeding and testing and seed stock maintenance. email:

Josie Bloom is a USDA Biological Science Technician who manages the genotyping laboratory. email:

Graduate students

Matthew Smith received his B.A. in Architecture from Clemson University, served in the Air Force as a pilot, and completed his M.S. at NCSU, working on evaluating genotypic variation for response to a growth regulator, and screening diverse maize germplasm for sources of low protein content for metabolic patients. His Ph.D. research focuses on breeding heirloom corns and low protein specialty corns. email:

Nicole Choquette received her B.S. degree in earth, society, and environmental sustainability and her M.S. degree in Plant Biology from the University of Illinois. She is a Big 10 Conference track champion and won the Big 10 Distinguished Scholar award. Her Ph.D. project involves genomic selection for adaptation of tropical maize to temperate environments. email:

Eric Butoto received his B.S. degree in Agronomy from Iowa State University. He is working on an M.S. degree focused on genomic selection for resistance to Fusarium ear rot in maize. email:

Destiny Tyson received her B.S. degree in Crop Science from NCSU. She is working on a Ph.D. focused on gene editing to speed adaptation of tropical maize to temperate environments. email:

Post-Doctoral Researchers

Ryan Sartor received his B.S. from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. degree in Genetics from University of California-San Diego. He was awarded a National Science Foundation post-doctoral researcher award to study prediction of maize hybrid phenotypes using transcriptome data.

Research Associates

Fernando Samayoa López is originally from Guatemala and received his Ph.D. from Misión Biológica de Galicia, Spain. He was a post-doctoral researcher in maize breeding and genetics at NCSU, working on inbreeding depression and quantitative genetics of maize landraces, and now is a research associate in the Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry with Rubén Rellán-Álvarez, but still collaborating with Jim Holland. email:

Project Leader

Jim Holland is the project leader for the USDA corn breeding and genetics program at NCSU. He obtained a B.A. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University, an M.S. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in Crop Science at NC State University. email:

Project members through the years

Team Corn, 2021

Team Corn, 2019

Team Corn, 2018

Team Corn, 2016

Team Corn, 2015

Team Corn special summer forces, 2014

Team Corn, 2013

Team Corn, 2012

Team Corn, 2010

Team Corn, 2008

Team Corn, 2007

Team Corn, 2005

Team Corn, 2003


Team Corn, 2001