Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
University of California
Plant Breeding Academy

PBA E-Series


The UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center Plant Breeding AcademySM (PBA) programs and courses have enjoyed global popularity with both seed and plant breeding professionals, utilizing a model focusing on the practical application of science and theory. These programs feature veteran instructors from industry and academia and have successfully been taught in an in-person format.

UC Davis PBA E-Series
Based upon a seed industry-wide survey assessing continuous educational needs during the pandemic, we are launching a set of on-line short courses called the PBA E-Series. This series utilizes an on-line format with the proven teaching models of our in-person courses,
which focus on practical application and interaction with experienced instructors.

The PBA E-Series are short courses offered on-line and consisting of two ½ days. Garnered from real life examples, the curricula focus on the practical application of theories in:

  • Statistics
  • Experimental Design
  • Quantitative Genetics
  • Principles of Plant Breeding
  • Plant Breeding and Gene editing
  • Plant Breeding and Genomic Selection
  • Innovation Strategies and Tactics
  • Leadership

E-Series #1: Statistics & Experimental Design

Foundation level, designed for plant breeding, product development, agronomy and seed professionals working in all areas, this foundational course covers topics in descriptive statistics, data visualization, distributions, correlation, regression, comparison tests, replicated experimental designs CRD, RCBD, single location, single year analysis and trial quality. R demos are included.

Instructors: Alexandra Tomerius, Iago Hale and Jovan Djordjevic

April 13 & 15, 2021
15:00 – 19:30 Central European time zone (CET)
May 18 & 20, 2021
08:00 – 12:30 Pacific (USA) time zone

E-Series #2: Hybrid Breeding Strategies

Foundation level, designed for plant breeders and their team, this course will aid in the design and development of a true hybrid breeding engine, covering the topics of breeding targets, germplasm and trait organization into pools, importance of hybrid testing/evaluation, early vs late generation testing, choice of testers, and more.

Instructors: Ken Owens and Jovan Djordjevic

April 20 & 22, 2021
15:00 – 19:30 Central European time zone (CET)
May 25 & 27, 2021
08:00 – 12:30 Pacific (USA) time zone

Extra bonus in 2021 only! Those enrolled in the UC Davis Plant Breeding AcademySM Class VIII starting in September of 2021 are eligible to attend one E-Series course at no cost. 

Special guest: Each E-Series features an additional experienced plant breeder who will listen and actively participate in our last hour Q&A and with whom you will be able to directly interact. To be announced soon!


UC Davis Plant Breeding(SM) Academy Director and E-Series Lead Instructor Dr. Jovan Djordjevic discusses the PBA E-Series


Executive Director, Jovan Djordjevic, SBC
Jovan Djordjevic, Director of PBA; Instructor, PBA Online E-Series
Jovan Djordjevic spent over 25 cumulative years with Monsanto, Limagrain and BASF Vegetable Seeds, where he was most recently director of their research and breeding teams and developed crop strategy (vegetable seeds) as BASF Vegetable's Global R and D Team Lead for breeding. An accomplished and experienced plant breeder, he brings a broad-based expertise in plant breeding research and development, including the application of new technologies in breeding, building innovation culture & teams, linking business and complex R and D activities, and building organizational strategies centered around customers and consumers. Jovan is passionate about plant breeding and research technologies contributing to world food production, in particular those that involve fewer detrimental environmental impacts.

Alexandra Tomerius
Alexandra Tomerius, Instructor, PBA Online E-Series
While earning her doctorate at the University of Hohenheim, Dr. Alexandra Tomerius worked in close cooperation with private industry plant breeding companies. She further devoted herself to the optimization of plant breeding as a post-graduate through early work as a research associate and later work as a freelance consultant. She was involved in projects related to the optimization of breeding winter wheat (Lochow-Petkus GmbH) and winter oil seed rape (DSV Deutsche Saatveredelung, Lippstadt). Since 2011, she has worked with private companies on plant breeding training course development along with providing plant breeding lecture services to academia and private industry. She has also developed plant breeding teaching software and served as a regular lecturer for the European Plant Breeding Academy.

Iago Hale, Instructor, PBA Online E-Series
Dr. Iago Hale, an assistant professor of specialty crop improvement at the University of New Hampshire, USA, is inspired by the potential of plant breeding to enhance health, rural livelihoods, food security, and ecosystem integrity.  After studying Physics (B.A.) at Dartmouth College and living and working internationally for a number of years, including in East Africa, Dr. Hale attended the University of California - Davis, where he received his M.S. in International Agricultural Development and Ph.D. in Horticulture and Agronomy (Plant Breeding specialization).  His research activities are diverse and include pre-breeding (gene discovery and characterization) for rust resistance in wheat; breeding hardy kiwi cultivars (Actinidia spp.) for the northeastern United States and understanding their potential impact on the region's forests; and investigating the effects of domestication and dislocation from centers of origin on plant-associated microbial communities (model species: Phaseolus vulgaris).  Dr. Hale taught a graduate-level course on the design, analysis, and interpretation of experiments at UC Davis and looks forward to working with plant breeders from across Africa as they develop their programs through this academy.

Ken Owens, Instructor, PBA Online E-Series
Ken Owens, Instructor, PBA Online E-Series
Ken Owens comes with over 37 years of experience in Vegetable Breeding. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, Ken begun his career as cucumber and pepper breeder with Peto Seed in Woodland, California back in 1982. In 2000 he cofounded a start -up which later became recognized as Magnum Seeds where he helped establish Breeding, Seed Production and Sales activities for 6 vegetable classes. During his prolific 37-year vegetable breeding career, Ken and his team bred countless varieties for global markets, worth almost half a Billion Dollars in Sales. Ken is looking forward to giving back and sharing his experiences with new generations of plant breeders.


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