Potato Breeders

Dr. Jeffrey Endelman


Dr. Jeffrey Endelman is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and leads the university potato breeding program. He is a co-developer of 16 potato varieties and several software packages for genomics-assisted breeding, including rrBLUPGWASpolypolyBreedRand diaQTL. Endelman has co-authored 35 publications and served on the graduate thesis committees of 26 students. He is a member of the editorial boards for GeneticsTheoretical and Applied Genetics, and The Plant Genome.
Dr. Greg Porter

Dr. Greg Porter has served on the faculty at the University of Maine for 35 years.  His research program covers applied potato breeding, potato variety development, agronomy, and crop physiology. Porter teaches a graduate class in Experimental Design and until recently, an undergraduate Crop Ecology and Physiology class. His Agronomy Ph.D. is from Penn State and it focused on Crop Physiology.

Dr. Laura Shannon


Dr. Laura Shannon is an assistant professor of potato breeding genetics and genomics in the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota. Her background is in computational population and quantitative genetics and she has worked on a variety of systems including corn and dogs.  In her current role, she applies that experience to elucidate potato diversity and domestication as well as developing new potato varieties for Minnesota growers. She breeds fresh market (red and yellow) and processing (chips and russet) potatoes at the diploid and tetraploid levels. As part of this project, Laura is excited to implement genomic selection across her tetraploid breeding program.

Dr. Han Tan Dr. E. Han Tan is a plant geneticist at the University of Maine and is working with the Maine Potato Enhancement and Improvement Program to implement genomic selection on potato breeding.
Dr. Joshua Parson


Joshua Parsons is a potato breeder for PepsiCo – Frito Lay globally and is currently located in Rhinelander, WI.
Dr. Isabel Vales


Dr. Isabel Vales leads the Texas A&M potato breeding program. She combines conventional and molecular tools to enhance the efficiency of potato breeding efforts and to maximize genetic gains from selection. Isabel participated in the release of more than 20 potato varieties, including specialty types with high levels of antioxidants, and published 70 referee papers. She has been active in undergraduate and graduate teaching (potato production, plant physiology, molecular breeding) and training. 

Dr. Michael Friedmann


Dr. Michael Friedmann has over 25 years of experience managing discovery/ breeding research programs, both in academia and the private industry. Currently, he is the Senior Science Officer of the CGIAR Research Program in Roots, Tubers, and Bananas (RTB), led by the International Potato Center, Peru.  He is hosted at the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT in Montpellier France. As senior science officer, he provides strategic scientific support to the RTB Program and project management activities. Previously Michael worked as Project & Research Manager, of an applied poplar genomics project at the University of British Columbia, Canada.  He has also worked as a tomato breeder for about ten years at the Volcani Institute in Israel as well as at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  After a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Washington State University, Michael did a postdoc in molecular cancer research at WSU, followed by a visiting associate position at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland in molecular immunology.