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Julia Kornegay

Emerita Professor

Kilgore Hall 136


Dr. Julia Kornegay is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Horticultural Science. From 2011-2018 she served as Director of the Graduate Programs and as the Head of the Department from 2003-2010.

As Director of Graduate Programs (DGP), Dr. Kornegay was responsible for the administration of the Department’s Graduate Program under the advisement and direction of the Department Head, Graduate Admissions Committee, and the Graduate Faculty. The role of the DGP is to manage the graduate program and its financial resources in support of the teaching, research, and extension functions of the Department. To do so, the Graduate Program needs to attract, recruit, enroll, and graduate highly qualified students.


  • HS 433/533 Public Garden Administration
  • HS 206 Home Food Production (plus a DE section)
  • HS 601 Professional Presentation Skills (plus a DE section)


Breeding and selection of annual and herbaceous perennials with attractive floral characteristic, good plant architecture, enhanced postharvest vase life, adapted to local growing environments, and non-invasive, primarily for cut flower production in the southeast U.S.


Prior to coming to NC State, Dr. Kornegay served as Director of Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden (1999-2003) and as Director of Research (1997-1999). Fairchild is one of the world’s premier tropical botanical gardens with international horticulture, research, conservation, and educational programs in tropical fruit crops, endangered species conservation, palm biology, and plant systematics. She also served as an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University and the University of Miami. During her tenure, the Garden added two new outdoor exhibits: the Richard H. Simons Rainforest and the Jewels of the Caribbean habitats, and initiated the new William F. Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion. The Garden also developed the Fairchild Challenge educational program and a graduate studies program with Florida International University.

From 1985 to 1997, Dr. Kornegay worked at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia as Leader of the Bean Program (1993-1997) and senior plant breeder. She was responsible for an international team of scientists based in six countries in Latin America and Africa, working to increase sustainable bean production and incomes for farmers and their communities. She organized five regional research networks in Latin America and Africa and obtained $10 million from international donor agencies to support their activities. She also spearheaded the Seeds of Hope program in 1994 to help Rwanda recover its crop germplasm after the end of the civil war. In 1996, she was recognized by the regional bean program PROFRIZA and the national agricultural research programs of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia for her work in increasing bean production and research capacity in the Andean Region. Over 30 cultivars from her breeding program have been released as varieties in eight countries.

Dr. Kornegay recently chaired the National Research Council of the National Academies committee that wrote the 2010 report Towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century. She is also a member of the Working Group for Feed the Future (FtF) Research which serves as an advisory group to the Association for Public Land-grant Universities (APLU) to advance the global FtF initiative.

Dr. Kornegay has published widely in international scientific journals, books, and conference proceedings, and she wrote a featured column in the Garden Views, the quarterly magazine of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. She was interviewed on Martha Stewart Living Television and was the featured scientist on the TV program THE NEW EXPLORERS, Episode: Super Seeds. She also conducted numerous ratio and newspaper interviews, including Voice of America and National Public Radio – All Things Considered.

Dr. Kornegay served as Treasurer for the Society for Economic Botany and was a member of the Executive Committee and Board of the American Public Gardens Association. She has also served on numerous federal grant panels and national and international program reviews. She is married to Alfredo Escobar. Their Raleigh garden was featured on the National Garden Conservancy Open Days tour in 2009 and is a stop for many local and national gardening groups.

Breeding Lines and Germaplasm Releases (1980-Current)

1 Colombia 1994 ICA Jaidukama AND 669
2 1993 ICA Quimbaya AFR 298
3 2000 Unapal Milenio HAV 124
4 Ecuador 1999 INIAP 419- Chaupeno AFR 585
5 1996 INIAP 418 – Jema LSA 54
6 1993 INIAP 412 – Vilcabamba SUG 55
7 Peru 1999 DRK 54 DRK 54
8 1999 RAA 15 RAA 15
9 1994 Jacinto INIA AFR 353
10 Bolivia 1999 Rojo Casarabe CAL 144
11 Argentina 2001 TUC 241 ARF 241
12 2000 Gateado EMP 250
13 1994 Coral INTA AFR 285
14 1991 TUC 180 AFR 180
15 1995 Overito INTA SUG 18
16 Philippines 1992 HAB 229 HAB 229
17 Brazil 1990 UEL 2 HAB 118
18 1990 UEL 1 HAB 175
19 Ethiopia 2003 IBADO AFR 772
20 2001 AFR 504 AFR 504
21 Congo 2003 LSA 144 LSA 144
22 1993 AND 665 AND 665
23 Uganda 1999 DRK 57 DRK 57
24 1999 RWV 163 RWV 163
25 1999 NAFE 4 POA 2
26 1999 NABE 5 SUG 73
27 1995 NABE 2 MCM 1015
28 1995 NABE 3 MCM 2001
29 1995 NABE 1 OBA 1
30 1994 K 132 CAL 96
31 1994 K131 MCM 5001
32 Rwanda 2003 Ndamirabashonji RWV 167
33 2003 Amakwamirire RWV 296
34 2003 SINE RWR 1668
35 2003 Ndamirabana RWR 1802
36 2002 Ingobojkarugo SCAM 80 cm/15
37 2002 Akezakarigura CAB 19
38 2002 Nyiramata CAB 2
39 1998 LAS 400 LAS 400
40 1998 LAS 432 LAS 432
41 1993 LAS 153 LAS 153
42 Tanzania 2003 Uyole 03 DRK 124
43 Malawi 1995 CAL 113 CAL 113
44 1995 DRK 57 DRK 57
45 Zambia 1999 Lyambai CAL 143
46 1999 AND 717 AND 717
47 Zimbabwe 1996 Iris MCM 5001


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