University of Vermont

College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department of Plant and Soil Science

Eric Bishop von Wettberg, Ph.D.


Eric Bishop von WettbergAssistant Professor

  • Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution, Brown University, Providence RI, 2007
  • B.A. Biology, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore PA, 1999
  • C.V.
Areas of Expertise

Genetics, Genomics, Domestication, Crop Breeding, Evolution, Ecology, Legumes, Germplasm, Conservation

A great many crops are deficient in genetic diversity as a result of extreme population bottlenecks resulting from domestication and breeding. This limits their capacity for adaptation to new or altered habitats and their resilience in the face of climate change. My laboratory studies the consequences of population bottlenecks for adaptation to harsh environments, merging approaches from genomics and evolutionary ecology. We aim to develop a thorough understanding of the evolutionary ecology and population genetics of wild relatives of crops to breed better crops, conserve crop genetic resources, and build resilence to climate change into agricultural systems. We primarily work on legumes, with a focus on chickpea, lentils, fenugreek, faba bean and forages.

Contact Information
Phone: (802) 656-9117
Office Hours: 211 Jeffords by appointment

I teach the following courses:

PSS 196 Crop Improvement in a Changing World

PSS 295 Quantitative Genetics

Recent Publications:

von Wettberg EJ, Chang PL, Greenspan A, Carrasquila-Garcia N, Basdemir F, Moenga S, Bedada G, Dacosta-Calheiros E, Moriuchi KS, Balcha L, Mamo B, Singh V,Cordeiro MA, Vance L, Bergmann E,  Warschefsky EJ, Marques E, Dinegde KN, Sani SG, Getahun T, Yilmaz MA, Cacmak A, Rose J, Migneault A, Krieg CP, Saylak S, Temel H, Noujdina NV, Friesen ML, Siler E, Linday D, Akhmetov Z, Ozelik H, Kholova J, Can C, Caur P, Yildirim M, Sharma H, Vadez V, Tesfaye K, Woldemedhin AF, Tar’an B, Ayodogan A, Bekun B, Penmetsa RV, Berger J, Kahraman A, Nuzhdin SV, Cook DR.  2018. Ecology and community genomics of an important crop wild relative as a prelude to agricultural innovation.Nature Communications, in press.

Varshney RK, Saxena RK, Upadhyaya HD, Khan A, Yu O, Kim C, Rathore A, Seon D, Kim J, An S, Kumar V, Anauradha G, Yamini K, Zhang W, Muniswamy Z, Kim B, Penmetsa RV, von Wettberg EJ, and Datta SK. 2017. Whole genome re-sequencing of 292 pigeonpea cultivars, landraces and wild species accessions provides targets for domestication and genomic regions associated with agronomic traits for crop improvement. Nature Genetics, doi:10.1038/ng.3872

Plekhanova E, Vishnyakova MA, Bulintsev, Chang PL, Carrasquilla-Garcia N, Negash K, von Wettberg EJ, Noujdina N, Cook DR, Samsonova MG, Nuzhdin SV. Genomic and phenotypic analysis of Vavilov’s historic landraces reveals the impact of environment and genomic islands of agronomic traits.  Scientific Reports 10.1038/s41598-017-05087-5