Thank you for your interest in Small Grains Improvement at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)!

We are a team of two research groups, led by Dr. Jessica Rutkoski and Dr. Juan Arbelaez, in the Department of Crop Science at UIUC. We aim to accelerate the genetic improvement of small grains to help sustain people and the environment both regionally and internationally.

Dr. Jessica Rutkoski leads soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) breeding. Dr. Rutkoski’s applied research focuses on developing more profitable winter wheat varieties for Illinois and the surrounding states. Dr. Rutkoski’s scholarly research is focused on developing new breeding methods and techniques to make applied plant breeding more effective. read more

Dr. Juan Arbelaez is leading spring oat (Avena sativa) breeding and rice (Oryza sativa) breeding. Dr. Arbelaez’s research on rice breeding is conducted in partnership with breeding programs around the world to catalyze the development and implementation of new breeding methods and tools that will accelerate rice improvement where it is needed most. read more