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Jessica Spencer

Research Associate

Blueberry Breeder

EHRA Professional, Research, Staff


Area(s) of Expertise

I work at the Horticultural Crops Research Station in Castle Hayne to create blueberry cultivars specifically for NC growers. In conjunction with Hamid Ashrafi and the Blueberry Genetics & Genomics Program, we’re looking for blueberries with high yield, delectable flavor, bright color, and traits that are congruent with machine harvesting such as firmness and bush architecture.

At the HCRS, we plan and execute field trials, propagate bushes through cuttings and tissue culture, and take notes and data on seedlings, selections, and advanced yield trials.

In addition to breeding activities, ongoing projects include effects of cross pollination within and between species on fruit set and size, optimal conditions for tissue culture in Vaccinium, database development, parental microbiome effects on rooting.


M.S., Horticultural Science-Plant Breeding, NCSU (2012)
B.S., Biochemistry, NCSU (2004)
B.S., Biology, NCSU (2004)