Driven by a passion to do more with less, Mason enjoys breaking down resource bottlenecks in breeding programs through pipeline development. His software-driven approach draws from applied field experience in plant breeding programs ranging from inbred seed crops to clonally propagated perennials. As a proponent of the ‘art of plant breeding’, Mason seeks to complement classical methods with tailored implementations of emerging technologies.
While working towards his PhD in Agriculture, Food, and Life Sciences, Mason worked with a team at the University of Arkansas to perform the first public genome wide association in autotetraploid blackberry. His key contributions to this study include the development of an open-source fruit phenotyping application, assembly of an end-to-end genomic analysis pipeline, and candidate gene validation via RNA-Seq analysis.
Mason believes that global security and development begins with a full pantry, and that collaboration among scientists in agriculture will be crucial in promoting equal opportunities for future generations.