Research Professor, Department of Global Development
International Research Professor (Joint), School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section
Dr. Maricelis Acevedo is a Research Professor and the Director of the Feed the Future Insect-Resistant Eggplant Partnership. She also serves as Associate Director for Science of the Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat project in the Department of Global Development at Cornell University.
Acevedo works side by side with wheat scientists (breeders, geneticists and plant pathologists) around the world to develop and deliver wheat varieties that are high-yielding and disease-resistant. She also contributes to the wheat breeding and pathology capacities of the National Agriculture Research Programs in Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Asia by providing guidance and support for research infrastructure and providing training opportunities for junior scientists. As a member of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI), she is part of a global interdisciplinary network of wheat scientists committed to food security through advances in agriculture and capacity building.
In 2020 Dr. Acevedo became the Director for USAID Feed the Future Insect-Resistant Eggplant Partnership ($4.6M). Bt-eggplant adoption in Bangladesh has significantly reduced the need to utilize insecticide in farmers’ fields while increasing crop yields.
In 2018, Acevedo was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor in the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology (PPPMB) Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science within CALS and International Professor of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology in CALS. As an International Professor in the Field of Plant Pathology, Acevedo serves on Cornell’s PPPMB and Plant Breeding and Genetics graduate students’ thesis committees.
Prior to joining Cornell, Acevedo was the cereal rust pathologist and assistant professor in the Plant Pathology Department at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. During her time at NDSU, she taught a graduate course on Population Biology of Plant Pathogens and mentored four Ph.D. students and three master’s students. She has published numerous original research scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, one book chapter, and many outreach and extension manuscripts.
Her formal education includes a BS in Biology and MSc in Crop Improvement from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. She earned a PhD (2007) in Biology with a specialization in Plant Pathology from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the USDA-ARS Potato and Small Grains research Unit in Aberdeen, Idaho. In 2010 she was among the first recipients of the Jeanie Laube Borlaug Women in Triticum Early Career Award.
Acevedo is originally from Puerto Rico, where her parents live on a small farm in the town of San Sebastian, on the north west side of the Island.
Areas of expertise
Plant pathology; plant pathogen surveillance; host resistance; crop improvement; plant breeding for disease resistance; climate change ag. adaptation; food security; international agriculture; integrated pest management; plant biotechnology; molecular biology; technology adoption by farmers
- BS in Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus
- MSc in Crop Improvement, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus
- PhD (2007) in Biology with a specialization in Plant Pathology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
- Acevedo, M., Zinyengere N., Cichy, K., Meng, S., Tufan, H.A., Pixley, K., Bizikova, L., Isaacs,K., Ghezzi-Kopel, K., Porciello, J. 2020. Evidence Synthesis: determinants of adoption of climate-resilient crops and crop varieties by small-scale producers in low-and middle-income countries. Nature Plants.
- Coffman, W.R., Acevedo, M., Evanega Davidson S., Porciello, J., Tufan, H.A., McCandless, L. 2020. VIEWPOINT: Five recommendations for an inclusive and collaborative One CGIAR. 2020. Food Policy Food Policy 91 (2020) 101831.
- Kolmer, J.A., Herman, A., Ordoñez, M.E., German, S., Morgounov A., Pretorius, Z., Visser, B., Anikster, Y., and Acevedo, M. 2019. Endemic and panglobal genetic groups, and divergence of host-associated forms in worldwide collections of the wheat leaf rust fungus Puccinia triticina as determined by genotyping by sequencing. Heredity.
- Kolmer, J. A., Ordoñez, M. E., German, S., Morgounov, A., Pretorius, Z., Visser, B., Goyeau, H., Anikster, Y., and Acevedo, M. 2019. Multilocus Genotypes of the Wheat Leaf Rust Fungus Puccinia triticina in Worldwide Regions Indicate Past and Current Long-Distance Migration. Phytopathology 109(8):1453-1463.
- Aoun, M., Kolmer, J. A., Rouse, M.N., Elias, E., Breiland, M., Denbel Bulbula W., and Acevedo, M*. 2019. Mapping of Novel Leaf Rust and Stem Rust Resistance Genes in the Portuguese Durum Wheat Landrace PI 192051. G3-Genes Genomes Genetics 9(8):g3.400292.2019 DOI: 10.1534/g3.119.400292
- Zurn JD, Rouse MN, Chao S, Aoun M, Macharia G, Hiebert CW, Pretorius ZA, Bonman JM, Acevedo M*. 2018. Dissection of the multigenic wheat stem rust resistance present in the Montenegrin spring wheat accession PI 362698. BMC Genomics 9:67
- Aoun, M., Kolmer, J. A., Rouse, M.N., Chao, S., Denbel Bulbula W., Elias, E.M., and Acevedo, M*. 2017. Inheritance and Bulked Segregant Analysis of Leaf Rust and Stem Rust Resistance in Durum Wheat Genotypes. Phytopathology 107 (12), 1496-1506
- Liu, Z., Zurn, J.D., Kariyawasam, G., Faris, J.D., Shi G., Hansen, J., Rasmussen, J.B., Acevedo, M*. 2017. Inverse gene-for-gene interactions contribute additively to tan spot susceptibility in wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. DOI 10.1007/s00122-017-2886-
- Shiaoman C., Rouse, M.N., Acevedo, M., Szabo-Hever, A., Bockelman, H., Bonman, J. M., Elias, E., Klindworth, D., and Xu, S. 2017. Evaluation of Genetic Diversity and Host Resistance to Stem Rust in USDA NSGC Durum Wheat Accessions. The Plant Genome 10 doi:10.3835/plantgenome2016.07.007.1
- Aoun, M., Breiland, M., Turner, M.K., Loladze, A., Chao, S., Xu, S., Ammar, K., Anderson, J.A., Kolmer, J.A., and Acevedo, M.* 2016. Genome-wide association mapping of leaf rust response in a worldwide germplasm collection of durum wheat. The Plant Genome. 10.3835/plantgenome2016.01.0008.
- Babiker, E.M. Tyler, G., Chao, S., Rouse, M., Acevedo, M., Brown-Guedira, G., Wanyera, R., and Bonman, J.M. 2016. Molecular mapping of stem rust resistance loci effective against the Ug99 race group of the stem rust pathogen and validation of a SNP marker linked to stem rust resistance gene Sr28. Phytopathology 107:208-215.
- Kolmer, J.A., Acevedo, M. 2016. Genetically divergent types of the wheat leaf fungus Puccinia triticina in Ethiopia, a center of tetraploid wheat diversity. Phytopathology 106: 380-5.
- Mergoum, M., Simsek, S., Zhong, S., Acevedo, M., Friesen, T.L., M., Alamri, M.S., Xu, S., Liu, Z. 2016. ‘Elgin-ND’ Spring Wheat: An New Adapted cultivar to North Central Plains of the USA with High Agronomic and Quality Performance. Plant Registrations 10:130-134.
- Babiker, E.M. Tyler, G., Chao, S., Newcomb, M., Rouse, M. N., Jin, Y., Njau, P. Wanyera, R., Acevedo, M., Brown-Guedira, G. Williamson, S., and. Bonman, J. M. 2015. Mapping resistance to the Ug99 race group of the stem rust pathogen in a spring wheat landrace. Theor. Appl. Gen. 128:605-612.
- Dugyala, S., Borowicz, P., and Acevedo, M. *. 2015. Rapid protocol for visualization of rust fungi structures using fluorochrome Uvitex 2B and fluorescence microscopy. Plant Methods 11: 54. doi:10.1186/s13007-015-0096-0
- Friskop, A.J., Gulya, T.J., Harveson, R.M., Humann, R.M., Acevedo, M. and Markell S.G. 2015. Phenotypic diversity of Puccinia helianthi (Sunflower Rust) in the United States from 2011 and 2012. Plant Dis. 99:1604-1609
- Kertho, A., Mamidi, S., Bonman, J.M., Acevedo, M*. 2015. Identification of QTL for stripe rust and leaf rust resistance in winter wheat landraces using association mapping. PloSOne. 10(6): e0129580. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0129580
- Zurn, J.D., Dugyala, S., Borowicz, P., Brueggeman, R., Acevedo, M.* 2015. Unraveling the wheat stem rust infection process on barley genotypes through relative qPCR and fluorescence microscopy. Phytopathology 105:707-712.
- Zurn, J.D, Newcomb, M., Rouse, M., Jin, Y., Chao, S., Sthapit, J., See, D., Wanyera, R., Njau, P., Bonman, J.M., Brueggeman, R., Acevedo, M.* 2014. High density mapping of a resistance gene to Ug99 from the Iranian landrace PI 626573. Mol Breeding 34: 871-881.
- Mergoum,M., Simsek, S., Zhong, S., Acevedo, M., Friesen, T. L., Singh, P. K., Adhikari, T.B., Alamri, M. S., and Frohberg, R.C. 2014. ‘Velva’ spring wheat: An adapted cultivar to North-Central plains of the United States with high agronomic and quality performance. Journal of Plant Registrations 8:32–37.
- Mergoum, M., Frohberg, R.C., Stack, R.W., Simsek, S., Adhikari, T.B., Rasmussen J. B., Zhong, S., Acevedo, M., Alamri, M.S., Singh, P.K., Friesen, T.L., Anderson, J.A. 2013. ‘Prosper’: A high-yielding hard red spring wheat cultivar adapted to the North-Central plains of the USA.J. Plant Reg. 7: 75–80.
- Somo, M., Chao, S., Acevedo, M., Zurn, J.D, Cai, X., and Marais, F. 2013. A genomic comparison of homoeologous recombinants of the Lr19 (T4) translocation in Wheat. Crop Science 54: 565–575.
- Wang, X., Gross, T., Richards, J, Chia, Y., Druka, A. Kleinhofs, A., Steffenson, B., Acevedo, M. and Brueggeman, R. 2013. The rpg4-mediated wheat stem rust (Puccinia graminis) resistance of barley (Hordeum vulgare) requires the Rpg5 gene, a second NBS-LRR gene and an actin depolymerization factor. MPMI 26:407-18.
- Newcomb, M., Acevedo, M., Bockelman, H. E., Brown-Guedira, G., Goates, B. J., Jackson, E.W., Jin, Y., Njau, P., Rouse, M., Singh, D., Wanyera, R., and Bonman, J. M. 2013. Field resistance to the Ug99 race lineage of the stem rust pathogen in spring wheat landraces. Plant Dis. 97:882-890.
- Gurung S, Mamidi, S., Bonman, J.M., Jackson, E.W., Del Río, L.E., Acevedo, M., Mergoum, M., and Adhikari, T. 2011. Identification of novel genomic regions associated with resistance to Pyrenophora tritici-repentis races 1 and 5 in spring wheat landraces using association analysis. Theor. Appl. Genet. 123:1029–1041.
- Acevedo, M.* Jackson, E. W., Chong, J., Rines, H.W., Harrison S. and Bonman J.M. 2010. Identification and validation quantitative trait loci for partial resistance to crown rust in oat. Phytopathology 100:511-521.
- Acevedo, M.* Jackson, E. W., Sturbaum, A., Ohm, H.W., and Bonman, J. M. 2010. An improved method to quantify Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae DNA in the host Avena sativa. Can. J. Plant. Pathol. 32:215-224
- Acevedo Román M., Molina Castañeda, A., Sánchez, J.C. and Beaver, J.S. 2004. Inheritance of normal pod development in bean golden mosaic resistant common bean. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 129:549-552.
- Acevedo, M.*, Zurn, J. D., Molero, G, Singh, P, He, X., Aoun, M., Juliana, P., Bockleman, H., Bonman, M., El-Sohl, M., Amri, A., Coffman, R., McCandless, L.2018. The Role of Wheat in Global Food Security. Book Chapter In: ‘Agricultural Development and Sustainable Intensification-Technology and Policy Challenges in the Face of Climate (Earthscan food and agriculture). Editor: Udaya Sekhar Nagothu; Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY. Routledge.
- Rickertsen, E. J., Eriksmoen, E., Hanson, B., Martin, G., Pradhan, G., Schatz, B. and Ostlie, M. 2014. North Dakota hard red spring wheat variety trial results for 2014 and selection guide. A-574-14 (Revised).
- Ransom J., Elias, E., Acevedo, M., Friesen, T., Zhaohui, L., Manthey, F., Rickertsen, J., Eriksmoen, E., Hanson, B., Pradhan, G., Schatz, B. and Ostlie, M. 2014. North Dakota durum wheat variety trial results for 2014 and selection guide. A-1067-14 (Revised).
- Friskop, A., Markell, S., Gulya, T., Halley, S., Schatz, B., Schaefer, J., Wunsch, M., Meyer, S., Kandel, H., Acevedo, M.,Venette, J.,Venette, R. 2012. Sunflower Rust. NDSU Plant Disease Management NDSU Extension Service PP1557.
- Markell S., Olson, L., Acevedo, M. 2012. Dry Edible Bean Rust. NDSU Plant Disease Management NDSU Extension Service PP1601.
- Ransom J., Elias, E., Acevedo, M., Friesen, T., Manthey, F., McMullen, M., Eriksmoen, E., Hanson, B., Halvorson, M. and Bradbury, G. 2012. North Dakota durum wheat variety trial results for 2011 and selection guide A-1067-12 (Revised)
- Ransom J., Mergoum, M., Simsek, S., Acevedo, M., Friesen, T., McMullen, M., Zhong, S., Eriksmoen, E., Halvorson, M., Hanson, B., Martin, G., Bradbury, G. and Schatz, B. 2012. North Dakota hard red spring wheat variety trial results for 2011 and selection guide. A-574-12 (Revised).
- Ransom J., Elias, E., Acevedo, M., Friesen, T., Manthey, F., McMullen, M., Eriksmoen, E., Hanson, B., Halvorson, M. and Bradbury, G. 2011. North Dakota durum wheat variety trial results for 2011 and selection guide A-1067 (Revised)
- Ransom J., Mergoum, M., Simsek, S., Acevedo, M., Friesen, T., McMullen, M., Zhong, S. Eriksmoen, E., Halvorson, M., Hanson, B., Martin, G., Bradbury, G. and Schatz, B. 2011. North Dakota hard red spring wheat variety trial results for 2011 and selection guide. A-574 (Revised).
Outreach and blog posts
- Acevedo, M. 2015. Creating a new generation of rust-resistant wheat. International Innovation. 189:550-53. http://digimag.internationalinnovation.com/launch.aspx?eid=66c657c7-974c-4d32-b195-c6f920b89313
- Hickey, L. and Acevedo, M. 2014. Searching for answers in the weeds of wheat fields in Morocco. BGRI Blog. www.globalrust.org/blog/searching-answers-weeds-wheat-fields-morocco
- Acevedo, M. 2012. Leaf Rust. Prairie Grains. 120:6-7.
- It’s A Rusty World: The Endless Arm Race Against the Wheat Rust Pathogens. University of Nebraska Plant Pathology Department Seminar Series. February 24, 2020.
- Transboundary Education: Real World, Real Learning, Real Impact. Keynote address. February 8, 2020. Global Learning in Agriculture-Critical Collaborations, Penn State University.
- Global Challenges Require Global Solutions: Responsible Gene Stewardship, 58th All India Wheat and Barley Research Workers’ Meet. August 25th, 2019
- Taking it to the Farmer: Developing and Delivering Transformational Agricultural Research for Development. Plant Pathology Seminar Series, Penn State University, March 29th, 2019.
- Building Capacity and Gender Equality in The Quest for Global Food Security. New Jersey junior high school UN week seminar: April 4, 2017.
- Building Capacity and Hope in The Quest for Global Food Security. Cornell University CIIFAD seminar series: February 14, 2017, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
- The future of agriculture: how will you have impact? Keynote address Gordon Research Seminar on CO2 Assimilation in Plants. April 28, 2017. Tuscany, Italy. International.
- Building on the BGRI to Deliver Genetic Gain in Wheat. 13th International Wheat Genetic Symposium. April 26, 2017. Tulln, Austria. International
- The next 50 years: challenges and opportunities for global wheat production. Caribbean Millers Association Meeting, December 4-5, 2016, Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Invited presentation.
- Global Partnerships to Deliver Genetic Gain in Wheat. Keynote address at Latin American Industrial Millers Association, November 13-16, 2016, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- International Research and Collaborations to Achieve Rust Resistance in Wheat. Seminar presentation at the Plant Pathology Seminar Series- PPPMB Unit, CALS. Ithaca, NY. September 28, 2016. Invited presentation.
- Feed the Future Insect-Resistant Eggplant Partnership. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, 2022-2026. $10M total. Role: PI and Director.
- Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat Project. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UKAid, 2016-2020. $34.5M total. Role: Associate Director for Science.
- The Feed the Future South Asia Eggplant Improvement Partnership in Bangladesh. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, 2015-2020. $6.4M total. Role: PI and Director.
Warren Hall 275C
Ithaca, NY 14853
ma934 [at] cornell.edu
School & Section
School of Integrative Plant Science
Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section
Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology
Graduate Field of Global Development
Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat
Feed the Future South Asia Eggplant Improvement Partnership
Maricelis in the news
- Department of Global Development
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
- Department of Global Development
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Plant Breeding and Genetics Section