Aaron is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota. He received a BS from the University of Minnesota in 2002, an MS in Plant Breeding from Iowa State in 2005, and a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin in 2008. Following his PhD, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Cornell University from 2009-10 and an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska from 2010 – 2015. He joined the Faculty of the University of Minnesota in 2015.
Aaron’s research focuses on the application of genomic selection to plant breeding and the mining of genetic diversity for cultivar development. Publications of Aaron have explored facets of optimizing genomic selection for plant breeding. He has shown that adding genetically distant individuals to training populations can reduce prediction accuracy in specific situations, explored the trade-off between replication and training population size for developing genomic prediction models, and studied the use of genomic prediction for predicting hybrid performance in maize.
In addition to his genomic selection work, Aaron manages an active soybean breeding program with the objective of developing soybean varieties carrying novel traits and adapted to northern latitudes. The University of Minnesota Soybean Breeding program manages field trials across 15 Minnesota locations and a winter nursery in Santiago, Chile.