The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced June 16 that Dr. Thomas E. “Tommy” Carter is this year’s South Atlantic Area (SAA) Senior Research Scientist of the Year. Carter, a research geneticist and plant breeder in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, is stationed at the university’s Soybean and Nitrogen Fixation Research Unit in Raleigh. In honoring Carter, USDA cited his “pioneering research on genetic diversity in soybean breeding and the development of the first high-yielding drought-tolerant soybean germplasm.”
The SAA Scientist of the Year and Early Career Scientist awards are given annually in recognition of creative efforts, scientific leadership and major research accomplishments of SAA research scientists. As regional winner, Carter will participate in the Agencywide Research Scientist of the Year competition.
Carter joined the N.C. State research unit in 1981. His research mission is to broaden genetic diversity in applied U.S. soybean breeding and to provide innovative genetic solutions that help improve profitability in soy production. He earned his 1980 Ph.D. degree in plant breeding, with a minor in statistics, from N.C. State University and his 1977 master’s degree in plant breeding and 1975 bachelor’s degree in agronomy from the University of Georgia.