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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Christina Walters

Research Leader

Christina.Walters@ars.usda.gov

 

Chris Walters

 

EDUCATION

1986                       Ph.D., Botany Department, Cornell University; Plant Biology (major), Biochemistry & Agricultural Engineering (minors)

1981                       B.S., Cornell University (with Honors); Plant Sciences (major)

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2011-Present       Research Leader, Plant Germplasm Preservation Research, USDA-ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Fort Collins, CO

2009-2011            Co-Lead Scientist, Plant Germplasm Preservation Research, USDA-ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Fort Collins, CO

2007-2008            Lead Scientist/Acting Research Leader/Acting Center Director, USDA-ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Fort Collins, CO

2006                       Research Plant Physiologist, Plant Germplasm Preservation Research Unit, USDA-ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Fort Collins, CO

1999-2006            Research Leader, Plant Germplasm Preservation Research Unit, USDA-ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Fort Collins, CO

1988-1999            Research Plant Physiologist, Plant Germplasm Preservation Research Unit, USDA-ARS National Seed Storage Laboratory, Fort Collins, CO

1986-1988            Postdoctoral Research Associate, USDA-ARS NSSL, Fort Collins CO

1983-1986            NSF Graduate Fellow, Botany Dept., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

1982-1983            Graduate Research Assistant, Botany Dept., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

1981-1982            Research Assistant, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, NY

1979-1980            Research Assistant, Dept of Agricultural Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

 

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

••         Improve genebank practices for seed and pollen germplasm by obtaining longer living germplasm and better detection of the early stages of deterioration.

••         Develop Best Practices for genebanking that consider moisture and temperature interactions on germplasm longevity, particularly at cryogenic temperatures.

••         Develop tools that probe biology under the extreme dry and cold of preserved materials

••         Understand how developmental programs for seeds and pollen contribute to post-harvest physiology

••          Develop assays for seed quality assessment that are quantitative and appropriate for small samples

••         Describe genetic and environmental effects on seed longevity and ultimately explain with-in species differences in seed survival

 

RECENT/ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

  • North America Regional Representative for the International Society for Seed Science
  • Elected, Member at Large for Division O (Agriculture and Renewable Resources), AAAS
  • Elected, Division Chair CSSA Division C8
  • Science Advisory Committee and ARS Liaison, Center for Plant Conservation
  • Associate Editor, American Journal of Botany; Editorial Board, CryoLetters, Seed Science Research, Cell Preservation Technology
  • NCGRP representative and member of visioning committee, International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories
  • Member, Plant Germplasm Operations Committee, USDA-ARS
  • Member, Cryobiology Society, Crop Science Society of America, International Society of Seed Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Plant, Biologists, Botanical Society of America; International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories
  • Invited Expert, Consultative Group to Develop Genebank Standards, FAO/Biodiversity, September, 2010
  • Panel Chair, ARS RPES (Research Position Evaluation System)
  • Participant, Executive Potential Program (class of 2013) 

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Collaborator on Project Baseline, an NSF-funded study to collect seeds from wild populations for studies in evolution (PI: Julie Etterson) (2011)
  • Center for Plant Conservation "Star" Award for commitment to conservation of the flora of the United States  (2007)
  • Host and collaborator on a Spanish government supported fellowships for students to study preservation of fern spores and storage of seeds of Spanish native flora, and slow formation of ice in embryos at intermediate moisture levels (2006, 2007,2011)
  • Host and collaborator on Kosciuszko Foundation grant to study cryopreservation methods for Quercus germplasm with Pawel Chmielarz, Poznan, Poland (10 months in 2005-2006)
  • Host and collaborator on LABEX program for study in the US with Luciano Nass and Alfredo Alves, EMBRAPA, Brasilia, Brazil
  • Awarded ARS-funded postdoctoral fellowship for development of DMA techniques (2009-2011)

 

PROJECTS, PUBLICATIONS, AND ARS NEWS ARTICLES

FEATURED PUBLICATION: Intracellular ice doesn't kill cells after all

PROGRAM HANDOUT: Cryopreservation of Plant Germplasm

PROGRAM HANDOUT: Long-term Viability of Seeds in Genebanks

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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