Biographical Sketch

Dr. Todd C. Wehner

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Todd C. Wehner was a founder and chief science officer of Plant Pathways Co.  The company focusses on breeding and production of stevia in the U.S. and other countries in the Americas.

Dr. Wehner was leader of the cucumber and watermelon breeding project at North Carolina State University-Raleigh from 1979 to 2021. He also did research on melon and Asian gourds. His research emphasized improved selection methods; recurrent selection for fruit yield, earliness and quality; resistance to chilling, nematodes, anthracnose, belly rot, gummy stem blight, powdery mildew, downy mildew and potyviruses; and germplasm evaluation. His objectives were to provide industry with new traits for the development of improved cultivars, research information, and graduate students who can run field plant breeding programs.

Dr. Wehner served as assistant department head of the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State, and as chair of the publications committee for the American Society of Horticultural Science.

As the first president of the National Association of Plant Breeders, he supported the establishment of grants for plant breeding research from the USDA.

He taught courses at NC State, including plant breeding and vegetable production. Recently, he has been an instructor for DELTA (NCSU on-line), teaching HS 541 Plant Breeding Methods since 2010, HS 709 Plant Breeding Overview since 2011, and HS 863 Integrated Breeding Databases. He has been an instructor for the Plant Breeding Academy-America at UC Davis since 2006, and also works for PBA-Asia, PBA-Europe, and PBA-Africa.

Dr. Wehner has released 100 cultivars and breeding lines, and published 208 journal articles and 26 books and book chapters. He has trained 38 graduate students, 122 undergraduate interns, 34 postdoctoral research associates and visiting scientists.

He was an advisor for production of pickling cucumber in Sri Lanka in 1993, watermelon in China in 1999, 2008 and 2013, and Poland in 2004 and 2016. He participated in expeditions to collect germplasm from China in 1994, the Republic of South Africa in 1996, and Turkmenistan in 2008.  Dr. Wehner has traveled professionally in Israel, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Canada, Thailand, Morocco, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Tanzania (Tanganyika and Zanzibar), Turkey, 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).