Valerio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Science. He holds a research, teaching and service appointment in plant breeding and genetics at McGill University.


  • Ph.D., Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology. Michigan State University (2015)

  • M.S., Crop Physiology, University of Missouri (2011)

  • B.S., Agronomy, Universidad de Caldas, Colombia (2008)

Active Affiliations

  • Executive Leadership Board: North American Plant Phenotyping Network

  • Education Committee: National Association of Plant Breeders

  • Technical Editor: Crop Science; The Plant Phenome Journal.

  • Associate Editor: Frontiers in Plant Science - Plant Breeding Section; Journal of Plant Registrations; New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research; The Crop Journal.

  • Adjunct Lecturer, Lincoln University. Lincoln, New Zealand.

Jeff Smith

Jeff is our field technician in charge of breeding and phenomics operations. He is a McGill graduate in Bioresource Engineering.

Postdoctoral FELLOWS

Dr. Robert McGee

Dr. McGee is researching:

1) Implementation of genomic selection strategies in pulse crop species.

2) Interspecific hybridization of Phaseolus spp. for enhanced white mold tolerance.

3) Genomic analysis of Sclerotinia variation and coexpression analysis in Phaseolus. Canadian Sclerotinia Initiative


Jérôme Gélinas Bélanger

Jérôme is a PhD student working on: Soybean flowering GWAS and gene editing.

Jérôme is co-supervised with Dr. Tanya Copley at CEROM.

Henry Cordoba

Henry is a PhD student working on:

  1. Genomewide association of dry beans for quality traits

  2. The impact of deleterious mutations in self pollinated species

Laura Esquivel

Laura is a MS student working on:

  1. Canadian Sclerotinia Initiative

  2. Genomics of white mold disease resistance in common bean

Isabella Chiaravalotti

Isabella is a PhD student working on:

  1. Optimization of genomic selection strategies using machine learning methods.

  2. Empirical analysis of genomic selection approaches.


Marysia Zaleski-Cox (Honors)

KASP Marker Validation

Lab Alumni


Amir Ghoddoucy

Shamus McGuire


Dr. Kritarth Seth (2022)

Current position: Scientist at AgResearch

Dr. Kifah Gharzeddin (2020)

Current position: Visiting professor at Carleton University


Jennifer Lin - 2022 (MS)

Current position: Medical illustrator

Thesis title: The simulation of plant breeding scenarios in the common bean Phaseolus vulgaris L.

Lucy Egan - 2020 (PhD)

Current position: Postdoc at CSIRO in NSW, Australia

Co-supervised with Dr. Rainer Hofmann at Lincoln University (New Zealand).

Dissertation title: Germplasm exploration and phenotyping in Trifolium species for the improvement of agronomic traits and abiotic stress tolerance


Yifan Ding

Marianne Beaulieu

Andrea Corkal

Characterizing anthracnose races in Quebec (USRA)

Camille Jones

Sarah Christinck

Robbie Brooks

Simon Poirier

Marta Dolińska

Genomewide association (Mitacs Fellow)