UNL Appoints Alternative Crop Breeding Specialist in Panhandle
July 25, 2008
Dipak Santra has been appointed alternative crop breeding specialist at UNL's Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff. Santra is scheduled to start Nov. 1. He fills a position vacated by David Baltensperger who became chair of the Agronomy and Soils Department at Texas A & M University.
Since 2006 Santra has been an assistant research professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University. In 1999 he received a Ph.D. in biotechnology from the University of Pune, India, and Washington State University. His doctoral dissertation focused on applying biotechnology to improve blight resistance in chickpea. He has conducted research at Washington State and Iowa State University.
At UNL, his assignment will be to develop and lead a research and extension program focusing on genetic improvement, variety development and evaluation of alternative and existing crops adapted to rain-fed and limited irrigation production systems in western Nebraska.
Strong collaboration with producers, commodity boards and industry representatives is expected to be key to his efforts. The alternative crop breeder also is expected to lead a regional effort to enhance alternative crop development in western Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and South Dakota.
Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff