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Andrew Wiersma

Andrew Wiersma works in Robin Buell's lab.

Area of expertise: Plant breeding, genetics, and biotechnology.

Andrew is a plant breeder and is passionate about developing high-quality and productive crop varieties with enhanced nutrition, flavor, disease resistance, and abiotic stress tolerance. After Andrew completed his Bachelors degree at Calvin College (in Grand Rapids, Michigan), he pursued a Masters degree in agricultural science at Colorado State University. Andrew’s Masters degree research was focused on determining the genetic basis of glyphosate resistance in a noxious tumbleweed called kochia. In 2013, Andrew’s interests in genomics and crop improvement led him to Michigan State University, where he completed a Doctorate in plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology. His doctoral research was focused on reducing the genetic vulnerability of wheat to fungal pathogens through introgression of disease resistance genes from the wild wheat relative Aegilops tauschii. Now as a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellow, Andrew is utilizing genomics-based methods to accelerate resistance gene discovery in common bean, which will expedite disease resistance breeding in the future. During his spare time, Andrew enjoys traveling with his wife, backpacking, gardening, and volunteering with his local historic society.