Eric Bishop von Wettberg

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.



Coyne C, Kumar S. von Wettberg EJ, Marques E, Berger J, Redden R, Ellis N, Brus J, Zablatzká L, Smýkal P. 2020. Potential and limits of exploitation of crop wild relatives for pea, lentil and chickpea improvement. Legume Science.

Sivasakthi K*, Marques E*1, Kalungwana NA, Carrasquilla-Garcia N, Chang PL, Bergmann EM, Bueno E2, Bosch C, Cordeiro MA, Udupa SM, Mohammed I, Mir RR, Vadez V, Vandemark G, Gaur PM, Cook DR, von Wettberg EJB, Kholova J, Penmetsa RV. 2020.  Functional dissection of the chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) stay-green phenotype associated with molecular variation at an ortholog of Mendel’s I gene for cotyledon color: implications for crop production and carotenoid biofortification. International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Krieg CP2, Valls R5, Vatland S, Gordnier J, Porter SS, Friesen ML, von Wettberg EJ. 2019.  Nitrogen Fixation: Fixing the Gap Between Concept and Evidence Based Learning with Legume Biology.  American Biology Teacher, 81: 250-255

Plekhanova E, Vishnyakova MA, Bulintsev, Chang PL, Carrasquilla-Garcia N, Negash K, von Wettberg EJ, Noujdina N, Cook DR, Samsonova MG, Nuzhdin SV. 2017 Genomic and phenotypic analysis of Vavilov’s historic landraces reveals the impact of environment and genomic islands of agronomic traits.  Scientific Reports

Associations and Affiliations

Gund Institute For the Environment Fellow 

Secretary and Scientific Executive Committee, International Legume Society 

Editorial Board, Plants People Planet 

Eric Bishop von Wettberg

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

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


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


  • (802) 656-9117
Office Location:

211 Jeffords

Office Hours:

By appointment

  1. The von Wettberg Lab

Courses Taught

HCOL 185 Crop Domestication

PSS 195 Crop Domestication

PSS 196 Crop Improvement in a Changing World

PSS 295 Quantitative Genetics