Dr. Rex Bernardo is Professor and Endowed Chair in Corn Breeding and Genetics in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota. He obtained a B.S. degree in agriculture, majoring in plant breeding, at the Visayas State College of Agriculture in the Philippines in 1984. He graduated summa cum laude and worked in a national breeding program for sweet potato. In 1988 he obtained a Ph.D. degree in agronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He specialized in quantitative genetics and plant breeding under the guidance of Dr. John W. Dudley. From 1988 to 1997, Dr. Bernardo was a research scientist at Limagrain Genetics, Champaign, Illinois. From 1997 to 2000, he was on the faculty in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University. He has been a visiting scientist at INRA in Gif-sur-Yvette, France; at Limagrain Europe in Riom, France; at Wageningen University in the Netherlands; and at CIRAD in Montpellier, France.
Dr. Bernardo's research focuses on the use of quantitative genetics theory to improve the efficiency of plant breeding methods, particularly for maize. His work involves a combination of field studies, theoretical and computer simulation research, and molecular marker analysis. He has served as an associate editor and a technical editor of Crop Science and as an editor of Theoretical and Applied Genetics. In 1999 he received the Young Crop Scientist Award from the Crop Science Society of America. In 2005 he was elected Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America and of the American Society of Agronomy.
Dr. Bernardo teaches a graduate course on the application of quantitative genetics to plant breeding, a graduate course on publishing in plant science journals, and a short course on marker-assisted plant breeding. In his leisure time he enjoys playing the acoustic guitar, taking his wife, Chona, on dates, and hanging out with their six children.