Dr. Todd C. Wehner
Dr. Todd C. Wehner is William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and was the leader of the cucumber and watermelon breeding project at North Carolina State University-Raleigh from 1979 to 2022. He also researched the genetics and breeding of Oriental melon and Asian gourds. His research emphasized improved selection methods; recurrent selection for fruit yield, earliness and quality; resistance to chilling and disease; and germplasm evaluation. His objectives were to provide the seed industry with new traits for the development of improved cultivars, research information, and graduate students able to run field plant breeding programs. Dr. Wehner is chief science officer at Plant Pathways, an NC State spinoff company that specializes in the breeding of stevia (a natural, low calorie sweetener).
Dr. Wehner taught several courses at NC State, including plant breeding and vegetable production. Also, he was an instructor for DELTA (NCSU on-line), with Plant Breeding Methods, Plant Breeding Overview, and Integrated Breeding Databases. He has been an instructor for the Plant Breeding Academy-America at UC Davis since 2006, and also works with PBA-Africa and PBA-Europe. He has served as assistant department head, as well as president of the National Association of Plant Breeders.
Dr. Wehner has released 152 cultivars and breeding lines, and published 203 journal articles, 24 book chapters, and 1 book. He has trained 38 graduate students, 122 undergraduate interns, and 34 visiting scientists and postdocs. He was an advisor for production of pickling cucumber in Sri Lanka in 1993, watermelon in China in 1999 and 2008, and Poland in 2004. He participated in expeditions to collect germplasm from China in 1994, the Republic of South Africa in 1996, and Turkmenistan in 2008. He has traveled professionally in Israel, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Canada, Thailand, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Tanzania (Tanganyika and Zanzibar), Turkey, Morocco, and Kenya. Dr. Wehner has his A.B. in Botany (UC Berkeley), M.S. in Agronomy and Ph.D. in Plant Breeding (University of Wisconsin-Madison).