Dr. Baenziger - Small Grains Breeding Team

Dr. Baenziger - Small Grains Breeding
Dr. Baenziger - Small Grains Breeding


Baenziger academic family

Dr. Baenziger's Academic Family

Dr. Baenziger's current graduate students and his major professor reunite at the Nebraska Hall of Academic Acheivement. (L to R) Kayse Onweller, Nick Crowley, Neway Mengistu, Dr. Baenziger, Dr. David Glover, Anyamanee Auvuchanon, Somrudee Onto, and Ali Bakhsh.

Graduate Students



Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Madhav is a Ph.D. student in Plant Breeding and Genetics. His research interests are in exploiting untapped genetic diversity from landraces and wild relatives such as synthetic wheat, identify novel genes or genomic regions controlling resistance to several biotic and abiotic stresses, and improve quality (protein and minerals) of cereals and utilize it in an elite crop improvement program. He is a recipient of Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program Award.

Email: Madhav.Bhatta@huskers.unl.edu

Betul Cetindere


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Cetindere’s research interest is development wheat for nutritional and protein quality. She is specifically interested in low phytate traits to improve mineral concentration such as iron and zinc. She is supported by the Turkish government on a full scholarship.  

Email: Bet.Cetindere@gmail.com

Yavuz Delen


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Delen is interested in cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) trait of wheat. In this context, he has focussed on the potential of Aegilops kotschyi cytoplasm in hybrid wheat breeding. He has been awarded a full scholarship by the Republic of Turkey.

Email: YavuzDelenn@gmail.com

Hannah Donoho


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Donoho is a plant breeding and genetics master’s student studying the female traits of hybrid wheat (such as stigma characteristics, duration of floral gape, stigma receptivity, etc.) in relation to their importance in a hybrid production system.

Email: H.Donoho@gmail.com

Nick Garst


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Garst’s research interest is in hybrid wheat development specifically focussing on enhancing seed production traits of the male parent such as anther extrusion.  He is a recipient of the 2017-2018 Daugherty Water for Food Grant.   

Email: Nicholas.Garst@huskers.unl.edu

Caixia Liu


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Liu’s research interest is in breeding of winter wheat cultivars to minimize cadmium accumulation in grain, focusing on the selection of low Cd winter wheat lines at seedling stage using hydroponic system and KASP genotyping, and during grain filling using tissue Cd concentration.

Email: LiuCaixia01@gmail.com

Semra Palali Delen


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Palali Delen is intrigued by the ways improving quality of hybrid wheat. Her project interests center on “Variation for Cadmium (Cd), Zinc (Zn), and Iron (Fe) in F2 Hybrid Wheat”. She enjoys learning about wheat genetic mechanism and its interaction with toxics and nutrients. She has been awarded a full scholarship from the Turkish Government.

Email: SemraPalali.SP@gmail.com

Gerardo Rivera-Collazo


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Rivera-Collazo is a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics. His research focus is on crop management and disease losses as it relates to diverse genotypes.

Email: Gerardo.Rivera-Collazo@Bayer.com

Javed Sidiqi


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Sidiqi’s research focuses on the effect of fungicide and genetic on fungal diseases on wheat in Nebraska with emphasis on stem rust, aimed at determining crop losses to fungal diseases and breeding for improved stem rust-resistant wheat variety. He has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.

Email: Javed_Sidiqi@yahoo.com

Fang Wang


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Wang’s research interests are the identification of the resistance of winter wheat cultivars to Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) by detached leaves assay and Genotype-By-Sequencing (GBS), breeding of cultivars with improved FHB resistance through marker-assisted selection.

Email: WangFangApril04@gmail.com

Research Assistant Professor

Vikas Belamkar


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Belamkar’s primary responsibility in the small grains breeding program involves optimization and deployment of genomic selection, marker-assisted selection and other uses of molecular marker information for improving winter wheat. Additional details on his research interests and project activities are available at agronomy.unl.edu/Belamkar

Email: Vikas.Belamkar@unl.edu

Visiting Research Scientists

Shams Eltaher


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Eltaher is an assistant lecturer in Field Crops Biotechnology in the Plant Biotechnology Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, University of Sadat City, Egypt. His research project focuses on genome-wide association mapping in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance.

Dong Puihui


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Research: Dong is an associate professor of Henan University of Science and Technology, China. His research interests include modern plant breeding methods, abiotic and biotic stresses and hybrid breeding in wheat.

Email: DongPuhui@sina.com

Research Technicians

Greg Dorn


Research Technologist II

Email: GDorn1@unl.edu

Mitchell Montgomery


Research Technologist I

Email: MMontgomery1@unl.edu

Sarah Blecha


Specialization: Plant Breeding and Genetics

Graduate Research Assistant: Blecha is a Doctor of Plant Health student. Her primary research project is developing a SNP panel through KASP markers to test wheat hybrid purity.

Email: Sarah.Blecha16@gmail.com

Former students and colleagues

Former Students and Colleagues

Individuals past and present that have worked with Dr. Baenziger gather for a photo at the Nebraska Hall of Achievement. Below is a listing of my former graduate students, post doctoral scientists, and visiting scientists. I hope you enjoy! It has been my honor to work with these fine students and scientists.

Former MS Students

Nick Garst, 2017
Sumardi bin Haji Abdul Hamid, 2012
Russell Ward, 2012
Kayse Onweller, 2011
Chris Hoagland, 2009
Javed Sidiqi, 2008
Lekgari Lekgari, 2006
Ritesh Mishra, 2001
B. Todd Campbell, 1999
Mehmet Atak, 1997
Ahmet Kumlay, 1997
Mustafa Erayman, 1997
Jill E. Petrisko (McNeil), 1997
Kamil Haliloglu, 1995
Soleman Al-Otayk, 1995
Carla Wildhagen-Kimball, 1994
Masrizal, 1990
W. P. Bullock, 1982

Former Ph.D. Students

Jorge Venegas, 2017
Amanda Easterly, 2017
Rungravee Boontung, 2017
Waseem Madni Hussain, 2017
Juthamas Fakthongphan, 2015
Katherine Frels, 2015
Santosh Rajput, 2015
Mary Guttieri, 2014
Juan Valente Hidalgo Contraeras, 2014
Tadele Kumssa, 2014
Ali Bakhsh, 2012
Ibrahim Salah, 2012
Somrudee Nilthong (nee Onto), 2011
Nick Crowley, 2010
Anyamanee Auvuchanon, 2010
Neway Mengistu, 2010
Zakaria Al-Ajlouni, 2008
Chatuporn Kuleung, 2005
Antonio Castillo, 2004
Fufa Hundera Birru, 2004
Soleman Al-Otayk, 2004
Hikmet Budak, 2002
Yehia Mater (Deceased), 2002
B. Todd Campbell, 2002
Mustafa Erayman, 2001
Bekele Geleta Abeyo, 2000
Kamil Haliloglu, 2000
Kim Kyung Moon, 1999
Mohammed Maroof Shah, 1998
Eduardo Espitia Rangel, 1997
Masrizal, 1995
B. Moreno-Sevilla, 1994
V. Gustafson, 1994
N. Budak, 1994
L. Oberthur, 1993
W. Navvarro-Alvarez, 1992
A. Ouassou, 1991
T. Berke, 1990
V. Kepenne, 1989
T. S. Payne, 1988

Former Technologists

Sharmilla Mitra
Delton Dovel
Monica Norby
Bejamin Moreno-Sevilla
Jill Petrisko
Patrick Tenopir
Chris Hoagland
Jerry Bohlmann
Richard Little

Former Research Associates (Post Doctoral Scientists)

Vikas Belamkar, 2015-2016
Ibrahim Salah, 2012-2014
Md. Liakat Ali, 2005-2007
Mohammed Maroof Shah, 2000-2001
Jai-hoen Lee, 1997-1998
B. Moreno-Sevilla, 1994-1995
Yang Yen, 1991-1996
R. L. Simonson, 1989-1991
D. T. Kudirka, 1981-1983
M. D. Lazar, 1980-1982

Former Visiting Scientists

Dr. Mohamed Saadalla, 2015-16
Ms. Amira Mourad, 2015-2017
Dr. Ahmed Sallam, 2015-17
Dr. Hanaa Abouzeid, 2014-15
Dr. Emel Ozer, 2012-2013
Dr. MarMar El-Siddig, 2011-2012
Ms. MengYuan Wang, 2010-2012
Dr. Xinhong Chen, 2009-2010
Dr. Xiyue Song, 2009-2010
Dr. Munir Turk, 2008-2009
Dr. Abid Mahmood, 2003-2004
Mr. Sahin Dere, 2001-2002
Dr. Galal El Sherbeny, 2000
Mr. Fufa Hundera Birru, 1999
Ms. Miriam Kinuya, 1998
Ms. Gendi Wu, 1992-1993
Mr. Ismail Ozer, 1992
Mr. Ouyang Jun-Wen, 1991-1992
Mr. Fawzy Fathy Saad, 1991
Mr. Jan Rybczynski, 1990-1991
Mr. Yuan Han-min, 1989-1990