Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory » People » Jeffrey Neyhart

Jeffrey Neyhart

Research Geneticist (Plants)


Contact Information:                       


(609) 726-2544


125A Lake Oswego Rd 

Chatsworth, NJ 08019                           



Rutgers P.E. Marucci Center for Blueberry & Cranberry Research

Google Scholar





Kara Brunngraber, Biological Science Technician (2020 – Present)


We are always looking for talented individuals who want to work on Vaccinium breeding and genetics. If you are interested in joining the lab as a undergraduate student, graduate student, or postdoc, contact Jeff Neyhart at to discuss opportunities.


Biographical Information:

Dr. Jeff Neyhart is a Research Geneticist in the Genetic Improvement for Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory, USDA-ARS, and based at the Rutgers P.E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension in Chatsworth, NJ. He received a B.S. in Plant Science from Cornell University in 2014 and a Ph.D. in Applied Plant Sciences from the University of Minnesota in 2019, later working as a postdoctoral research associate with the University of Minnesota GEMS Informatics Initiative. In his leisure time, he enjoys biking, playing baseball, and fishing in the waters of his home state of New Jersey.


Research Interests:

The Neyhart lab conducts research to: i) develop new approaches to breed cranberries and other Vaccinium species; and ii) breed improved cranberry germplasm. This research involves quantitative genetic studies, simulations, high-throughput phenotyping and/or genomewide marker analysis, and field experiments.


Specific research interests include:

  • Developing novel predictive breeding methods that integrate genomewide markers and high-throughput phenomics data to increase the efficiency and precision of cranberry improvement
  • Understanding the interaction between genetics and environment to increase productivity, fruit quality, and disease resistance
  • Designing pre-breeding schemes to introgress genetic variation from unimproved to elite germplasm
  • Creating cranberry germplasm with improved fruit yield and quality, disease resistance, and abiotic stress tolerance


  Cranberry breeding plots at the P.E. Marucci Center


Peak flower bloom


Image-based phenotyping of cranberry breeding plots


Using thermal cameras to assess heat stress in cranberry


Berries suffering from field rot


USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer