International Plant & Animal Genome Conference / PAG 32 • January 10-15, 2025  •  San Diego, CA, USA

Distinguished Research Professor, University of Georgia, USAKatrien Devos 

Tuesday, January 16,  8:00 AM  / Atlas Ballroom

Talk Title: "Ensuring Food Security in a Changing Climate: Adopt an Orphan” (Preliminary Title)


Dr. Devos obtained her PhD in Wheat Genetics at the University of Ghent, Belgium, based on research she had carried out at the John Innes Center, UK, where she was part of the team that developed the first genetic maps of wheat. She returned to the John Innes Center as a post-doctoral fellow to expand the wheat research into related cereals and played a key role in the development of the comparative grass concept. In 1996, she was awarded a Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC) David Phillips Fellowship, which allowed her to set up an independent research program at the John Innes Center on comparative genetics, exploring the extent of gene order conservation beyond the grasses to Arabidopsis. In 2003, Dr. Devos joined the University of Georgia, Athens, where she has joint appointments in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, and the Department of Plant Biology. She is also a member of the Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, and the Institute of Bioinformatics. Her current research focuses on trait analyses in non-model grasses, including switchgrass, the turfgrass seashore paspalum, and finger millet. She combines wet lab research with large-scale bioinformatic analyses to identify genes underlying traits, and to study chromosomal evolution. She participated in the development of high-quality genome assemblies of foxtail millet and switchgrass, and led the generation of a chromosome-scale assembly for finger millet. Despite the limited resources available in non-model species, her lab has successfully moved from trait to QTL to underlying gene. Her research has resulted in more than 160 refereed publications, book chapters and conference articles. She received the UGA creative medal for her work on millets in 2017, and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Research, also in 2017. She was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016, and of the Crop Science Society of America in 2019. In 2020, she became a UGA Distinguished Research Professor.