Collaborators in the CIOA Project

Project Partner Institutions


Philipp Simon  USDA, Agricultural Research Service and Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Professor







Micaela Colley  Organic Seed Alliance, Executive Director and Research and Education Director

In addition to being the executive director of Organic Seed Alliance, Micaela manages participatory plant breeding, research and education projects with farmers, university researchers and other seed professionals. She is chair of the biennial, national Organic Seed Growers Conference, and has authored several educational publications covering topics on organic seed production, on-farm crop improvement and variety trialing and teaches workshops on seed related topics. Micaela has 11 years of experience in the organic seed field including past experience in the organic seed industry. 


Julie DawsonDr. Julie Dawson, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Julie Dawson will lead project implementation. She will oversee the collaborative breeding projects, manage on-farm testing of breeding lines, advise on SeedLinked functionality improvements and oversee all elements of the graduate students’ scope of work including farmer engagement, breeding line testing, data collection, video development and results publication.




Lori Hoagland  Purdue University, Assistant Professor, Specialty Crop Production Systems

Lori Hoagland is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her PhD in Soil Science from Washington State University. Her research focuses on development  of practical approaches to improve soil quality and increase crop productivity while reducing negative impacts of farming systems on the environment. Current projects include predicting nutrient availability and quantifying nutrient loss from biological amendments and cover crops; biological approaches to pathogen suppression in vegetable systems; and, functional interactions between vegetable varieties and beneficial soil microbes. For more information on Lori's work, please visit:


Philip Roberts  University of California - Riverside, Professor and Nematologist

Philip Robert's research focuses on genetics of resistance and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses of vegetables and agronomic crops, and the deployment of resistance through plant breeding and integrated pest management strategies. In particular, resistance to nematodes and fungal pathogens of carrots, cowpea and other grain legumes, cotton, and tomato has been a major focus. Phil and his research team are utilizing resistance traits for genetic improvement of these crops in the U.S. and for sub-Saharan Africa, via traditional and marker-based selection approaches to couple biotic stress resistance with tolerance to drought and enhanced agronomic characters. Over the last decade, this research has been supported by grants from USDA, EPA, USAID-funded Bean/Cowpea and Dry Grain Pulses Collaborative Research Support Programs, University of California, and California Commodity Boards.

Jed Colquhoun  University of Wisconsin - Madison, Director of Agricultural Systems Programming, Professor, and Weed Specialist

Jed Colquhoun is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research and extension program focuses on weed management in fruit and vegetable production. Jed is also the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and Interim Co-Director of the Environmental Resources Center. A native of the Northeastern U.S., he received his BS and MS degrees from Cornell University and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Lindsey DuToit  Washington State University, Plant Pathologist and Extension Specialist

Lindsey du Toit grew up in KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa, where she completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg (UNP), in 1991 with a major in plant pathology. Lindsey then completed her MS (1995) and PhD (1998) degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), majoring in plant pathology. Her PhD dissertation was on field and epidemiological aspects of common smut of sweet corn caused by Ustilago maydis, under the direction of Dr. Jerald Pataky. While in Illinois, Lindsey interned at the Plant Clinic of the UIUC for five growing seasons, supervised by Nancy Pataky. Lindsey's first position out of graduate school was as the diagnostician for the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Lab at the Puyallup Research and Extension Center of Washington State University (WSU) from 1998 to 2000. Lindsey was then hired as an assistant professor and vegetable seed pathologist for WSU in August 2000, based at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC. Lindsey’s vegetable seed pathology research and extension program works on the etiology, biology and management of diseases that affect vegetable seed crops grown in the Pacific Northwest USA. Small-seeded vegetable seed crops such as spinach, brassicas, carrot, onion, radish, and table beet are the focus of Lindsey's program. In 2006, Lindsey was promoted to Associate Professor & Extension Specialist E3. For more information on Lindsey's work, please visit:  , ,

Laurie McKenzie Organic Seed Alliance

Joe Nunez University of California Cooperative Extension, Farm, and Home - Bakersfield, Pathology Farm Advisor

Joe Nunez is the vegetable and plant pathology farm advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension assigned to Kern County. Kern County has over 36420 hectares of vegetables in production each year. Carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, melons and various leafy vegetables are grown in Kern County. Mr. Nunez conducts research on a wide variety of these vegetable crops. Cavity spot of carrots, bacterial early dying of potato, CMV of peppers and crop sustainability are some of Mr. Nunez’s areas of research. Joe Nunez is also an adjunct professor at Bakersfield College where he teaches vegetable crop production.

Jaspreet Sidhu University of California - Davis, Vegetable Crops Farm Advisor


Erin Silva  University of Wisconsin - Madison, Organic Production Scientist

Dr. Erin Silva has a MS and PhD in Horticulture from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. Erin has been the Organic Production Scientist at UW working with both agronomic and vegetable crops since 2006. In this position, Erin's research includes cover cropping systems for organic agriculture, breeding and trialing vegetable varieties for organic systems (including work with the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative - NOVIC), and adapting organic systems to urban production. Her outreach efforts include organizing organic field days, presentations, and workshops as well as creating both written and website-based information for organic producers.


Tim Waters  Washington State University, Area Extension Educator

Dr. Tim Waters has a MS and PhD in Entomology from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. Tim has been the Area Extension Educator in Franklin and Benton County for vegetable and alternative crops since February of 2006. In his current capacity, he focuses primarily on commercial vegetable production and conducts variety and agronomic trials on several vegetable crops including: onion, carrot, sweet corn, watermelon, and sweet potato. Additionally, Tim works extensively on integrated pest management of pests of onion, potato, carrot, sweet corn, and other vegetable crops. His outreach efforts are focused on educating producers, crop consultants, and other vegetable industry members on current research findings through presentations, workshops, written articles and various other forms of media.

Jared Zystro Organic Seed Alliance