PhD candidate Qi Mu has recieved the Gerald O. Mott Meritorious Graduate Student Award in Crop Science. The award recognizes top-notch graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in crop science disciplines. Departments select students based on academic achievements, research and teaching contributions, leadership accomplishments, service activities and personal qualifications. The award honors the first CSSA President, Gerald O. Mott, who trained 75 graduate students during his 45 year career at Purdue University and the University of Florida. Many of his students have become eminent forage scientists.
Currently a Ph.D. student in the plant breeding program, Qi obtained her M.S. degree from the Ohio State University (OSU) in 2015 and started her Ph.D. study in 2016. Qi has an outstanding academic achievement record. Qi has earned a perfect GPA of 4.0 at Iowa State University after completing all coursework.
Qi has made significant contribution to research. She is the first author of a paper published in PLoS Genetics, a prestigious journal. Her research in cloning a tomato fruit weight gene not only enriched our understanding of genes underlying key agronomic traits in general but also paved the way for molecular marker assisted tomato breeding. In addition, Qi also co-authored a review paper in 2014 in Frontiers in Plant Science, and this paper is highly cited. Qi’s research contribution to our research at Iowa State is critical to the discovery of genomic determinants underlying flowering time plasticity, which was published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. She also made substantial research contribution and is a coauthor in two other papers published in Nature Plants and Plant Biotechnology Journal. Qi’s dissertation research is cloning of the gene involved in plant height in sorghum and maize and exploring the genetic and environmental mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity.
In addition, Qi has also been involved in undergraduate research mentoring and teaching. So far, she has mentored 3 undergraduate research assistants. Although she has been funded 100% as a graduate research assistant, Qi volunteered to serve as a teaching assistant (TA) for AGRON 183 (Basic Skills for Agronomists) in Fall 2019 (49 students). Dr. Brian Hornbuckle spoke highly of her outstanding performance as a TA.
Qi has been very active in academic and professional organizations. Most notably, Qi served as the President of Plant Breeding Graduate Student Organization and co-chaired the 2019 R. F. Baker Symposium in Plant Breeding committee. In addition, Qi served on the Speaker Committee for the 2018 R. F. Baker Symposium in Plant Breeding. She served as the Senator in the Graduate and Professional Student Senate from 2018 to 2019. Just recently, she joined the NABP Graduate Student Working Group (GSWG).