David Beck

Global Plant Breeding Consultant


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DuPoint Pioneer
Corn industry consultant
Work experience

Jul 2015 - Present

Independent Consultant

Global Plant Breeding Consultant

Providing scientific, technical, and management recommendations for public and private crop research and development programs. Evaluations include an extensive review of the literature, travel to key sites to see ongoing research, detailed reports documenting strengths and weaknesses, plus key recommendations on how best breeding/research/seed programs can move forward. Recently completed a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded project evaluation (lead by the University of Australia, Queensland) looking at breeding programs for five tropical dryland crops at ICRISAT (International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) based in Hyderabad, India. Evaluations included analyzing the effectiveness of research management, collaboration among scientists, cultivar development, incorporation of biotechnology tools, breeder and foundation seed production, and systems to deliver seed products to farmers.


Jan 2011 - Mar 2015


Trait Development Scientist

Directed a team conducting field and greenhouse studies on a multiple stack transgenic event with both insect resistance and herbicide tolerance in both corn and soybeans. Conducted evaluations throughout the US including Puerto Rico and Hawaii plus Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. After 3 years identified two events that met all company standards for outstanding herbicide tolerance and insect resistance to over 12 economically important Lepidopteran pests, plus good agronomic traits and seed production characteristics.


Sep 2007 - Dec 2010


Corn Breeding Project Lead

Lead a breeding and testing program for the central/eastern Corn Belt. Developed improved inbred lines emphasizing high yield, excellent combining ability, lodging resistance, disease tolerance, female seed yields, and male pollen production. Utilized molecular markers and double haploid technology to increase the rate of genetic gain. Obtained US patents on three commercial corn inbred lines.

Jan 2006 - Feb 2007

DuPont Pioneer

Senior Research Development Scientist

Provided leadership in planning and conducting a maize inbred and hybrid development development for subtropical and highland areas of Mexico. Focused research on traits desired by farmers and the marketplace including high grain yield, disease resistance, drought tolerance, and grain quality. Implemented new breeding methods and molecular approaches to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the breeding program. Helped coordinate use of white-grained germplasm among Pioneer's US and tropical breeding programs.


Jan 1995 - Dec 2005


Highland Corn Breeder & Seed Production Specialist

Directed the CIMMYT highland maize program targeting over six million hectares in the developing world. Released 10 tropical highland inbred lines. Collaborated with the CIMMYT biotechnology program to better understand hybrid vigor and genetic diversity in highland maize and in developing highland adapted quality protein maize (QPM) using molecular markers. In order to accelerate the adoption of improved varieties and hybrids, lead a maize program effort in seed production training and consulting. Participated in the organization and instruction for seed production training courses at CIMMYT headquarters in Mexico and in over 30 countries worldwide.

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