University of Georgia

Peggy Ozias-AkinsProfessor Peggy Ozias-Akins

Principal Investigator

Professor Peggy Ozias-Akins is a UGA Distinguished Research Professor and conducts research on female plant reproduction, particularly the genetic and genomic analysis of apomixis in grasses, along with breeding and genetic research in legumes (peanut and cowpea). Apomixis research in her lab led to identification and functional characterization of a gene for parthenogenesis from Pennisetum squamulatum (PsASGR-BBML). In addition to research, Professor Ozias-Akins is active in the leadership of the UGA Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics and the National Association of Plant Breeders.

View profile

Joann ConnerJoann Conner

Associate Research Scientist

Joann Conner is an Associate Research Scientist at The University of Georgia who has been researching various topics of apomixis for twenty years. Her research goal remains to identify the genetic components responsible for apomixis in natural species and to transfer this mechanism into crop species.


View profile

Sailaja Bhogireddy

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Sailaja Bhogireddy is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Georgia and conducts research on functional genomics and genetics of parthenogenesis in sorghum and cowpea.  She has over 13 years of research experience primarily focused on genetics research, functional genomics, and different omics technologies including siRNA for stress resistance in different cereal (rice) and legume (chickpea, groundnut and cowpea) crops.

Hua KangHua Kang

Research Professional

Hua Kang previously worked as Research Professional in plant pathology, crop and soil science areas. She joined Professor Ozias-Akins’ lab in July 2021. Her goal is to implement lab management, perform tissue culture and transformation experiments of cowpea, and help sample and data collection in lab, greenhouse and field.

Caleb GuerraCaleb Guerra

Research Technician

Caleb Guerra joined the team as a Research Technician in the Ozias-Akins lab in 2023. He obtained his Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) in 2022 during which he completed an internship at UGA evaluating tomato cultivars in the field and in high tunnels for incidence of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl disease, plant growth and fruit yield.

General enquiries

Hy-Gain Project Manager


Hy-Gain Logo

Hy-Gain for smallholders
High-yielding, sorghum and cowpea seed