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Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics: People

Donglin Zhang


Donglin ZhangDepartment of Horticulture
1103 Plant Sciences Building
Athens, GA 30602

Phone: 706-542-0776

Research area: Woody Ornamental Plant Breeding and Introduction


Donglin joined the faculty at the University of Georgia in 2012 as the Michael A. Dirr Endowed Chair Professor for Woody Plant Instruction and Introduction.  Right after he earned his Ph.D. degree in 1997, he secured a faculty position at the University of Maine and served as an assistant, associate, and full professor for 15 years on woody ornamental plant breeding and introduction. He was awarded the Putnam Fellow by Harvard University in 2001 and strengthened his woody plant knowledge from the Arnold Arboretum to the molecular laboratory in the Harvard Herbaria. As a trained plant taxonomist in China, he documented a lot of potential woody ornamental plants and worked diligently to introduce them to our nursery market. In 2002 and 2006, he successfully hosted two international symposia on “Asian Plants with Unique Horticultural Potential” and extended his collaboration on woody ornamental plant research and introduction to the international stage. His research focuses on producing elite ornamental cultivars with traditional hybridization and molecular-aided breeding. The lab crew conducts plant exploration on native US flora and ornamental germplasm from other countries, especially from China, Japan, and Korea; selects unique plants from open pollination and artificial hybridization; evaluates superior clones for better adaptation of Georgian and eastern US environment; applies modern molecular technology and embryogenesis for establishing rapid woody plant breeding systems; and develops edible or other functional landscape plants. Please join our team and contribute your talent for bringing better ornamental plants to our landscapes.


Degree Field Institution Date Obtained
Ph.D. Horticulture University of Georgia 1997
M.S. Horticulture University of Georgia 1997