Donglin Zhang, University of Georgia, USA
Donglin joined the faculty at the University of Georgia in 2012 as the Michael A. Dirr Endowed Chair Professor for Woody Plant Instruction and Introduction. Right after he earned his Ph.D. degree in 1997, he secured a faculty position at the University of Maine and served as an assistant, associate, and full professor for 15 years on woody ornamental plant breeding and introduction. He was awarded the Putnam Fellow by Harvard University in 2001 and strengthened his woody plant knowledge from the Arnold Arboretum to the molecular laboratory in the Harvard Herbaria. In 2002 and 2006, he successfully hosted two international symposia on “Asian Plants with Unique Horticultural Potential” and extended his collaboration on woody ornamental plant research and introduction to the international stage. His research focuses on producing elite ornamental cultivars with traditional hybridization and molecular-aided breeding. The lab crew conducts plant exploration on native US flora and ornamental germplasm from other countries, especially from China, Japan, and Korea; selects unique plants from open pollination and artificial hybridization; evaluates superior clones for better adaptation of Georgian and eastern US environment; applies modern molecular technology and embryogenesis for establishing rapid woody plant breeding systems; and develops edible or other functional landscape plants.