Hello! I’m Malachy (Mack), a post-doctoral research associate in the Morota Lab at the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Although I am working in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, my research is focused on studying the genetic basis of complex traits in major crops. I have a strong background in plant physiology, molecular biology, and genetics. However, after finishing my PhD with Harkamal Walia I’ve started to get my feet wet in the world of quantitative genetics.
Broadly defined, my research aims to integrate cutting edge genomic and phenomic approaches to understand how plants respond to environmental stresses, and to provide breeders with a means to improve these responses. My previous research leveraged classical plant physiology, molecular biology, and genetics to discover genes underlying natural variation in abiotic stress responses. However, my current research focuses on the development of novel methods for genome-wide association and genomic prediction of longitudinal traits derived from high-throughput phenotyping platforms. The frameworks provide and effective means to study how traits develop over time, as well as allow the direct integration of environmental covariates to predict phenotypic outcomes in new, challenging environments.