About the 2011 Lecturer | Dr. Brian Diers

Dr. Brian Diers will present the 2011 annual Elmer G. Heyne Crop Science Lectureship on March 9, 2011 at 4 p.m. in 1018 Throckmorton Hall on the K-State Campus. The title of Dr. Diers’s presentation is “Soybean improvement through application of genetic resources and technology.” Brian Diers is a Professor in the Crop Sciences Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

He earned his B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Iowa State University. He leads a soybean breeding and genetics program and teaches introductory genetics. With the help of colleagues, Dr. Diers is developing new soybean varieties for general use and specialty markets through applied plant breeding methods.

His research focuses on utilizing exotic germplasm to improve the disease and pest resistance and yield potential of soybean. A major contribution of his program has been the mapping of genes that provide resistance to soybean cyst nematode, soybean aphid, and sudden death syndrome. Dr. Diers has been especially successful securing extramural funding from agencies such as the United Soybean Board, the Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board, the Soybean Disease Biotechnology Center, and the National Sclerotinia Initiative.

His scholarly achievements include publishing 76 refereed journal articles. In 2001, Dr. Diers was presented the Young Crop Scientist Award by the Crop Science Society of America. His knowledge of plant breeding has allowed him to speak internationally about U.S. soybean breeding efforts. This lectureship honors the name of Dr. Elmer G. Heyne and commemorates his many years of outstanding service to Kansas State University, and to individuals in the campus community who were touched and influenced by his life.