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Mark V. Coggeshall

Mark  V. Coggeshall
Research Scientist, Emeritus
Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center
Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center
715 W. State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
United States
Current Research
Research has focused on use of genomics tools to facilitate tree breeding activities for several fine hardwood tree species in the Central Hardwood Forest Region (CHFR). In addition, collaborations with other NRS scientists and Purdue University colleagues have been directed towards the quantification of heritable genetic variation within several hardwood tree species including black walnut, northern red oak, and black cherry, for a range of commercially important traits. Finally, phenotyping of full sib mapping populations for QTL discovery associated with adaptive traits as well as responses to both biotic and abiotic stressors is ongoing.
Past Research
Over the past 15 years, research foci have included establishment of unique full sib mapping populations and their subsequent phenotyping for the purposes of QTL discovery. These populations were developed as part of a collaborative NSF-sponsored research project and has resulted in the development of a series of genomic tools across an array of six plant orders. Further information on this project can be found at Additional research activities have included quantification of flooding responses between and within seven different MO oak species commonly found in riparian systems. Heritable genetic variation was detected for several species at the seed tree level and was not associated with physiographic (slope) origin. Also during this period, new approaches to breeding black walnuts for both timber and edible nut products were developed including the use of genomic marker systems to facilitate a more efficient 'breeding without breeding' approach to acheive program goals.
Research Interest
Research interests have included investigation of how species-specific characteristics can potentially be translated to other species, within the context of developing robust, tree breeding/tree improvement programs for hardwood tree species that are inherently "challenging" to work with. Recognition of these biological limitations - and how to circumvent them - has remained an active research interest of mine for 40+ years. Additionally, the impacts of site heterogeneity on field experiments that are designed to yield robust estimations of genetic variation, and consequently, genetic gain, is an active research interest.
Why This Research Is Important
This research is important because:
1. It focuses on defining the levels of genetic variation that are linked to adaptive traits for several important hardwood tree species in eastern US forests.
2. It uses forest genetics and tree breeding approaches for a group of keystone hardwood tree species that are considered to be under threat due to increasing exotic pest pressures, as well as climate change.
3. It elucidates how to best exploit heritable, within-species genetic variation for the improvement of both adaptive and commercially important traits.
4. It represents the only program of its kind that focuses on tree species that are very difficult to work with due to their inhernent biological constraints, including delayed flowering & fruting patterns.
  • University of Missouri, Phd, Horticulture, 2008
  • Mississippi State University, M.S., Forest Genetics, 1978
  • University of Massachusetts/Amherst, B.S Forestry, Forest Management, 1976
Professional Experience
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor ,  Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University,  2017 - Current
  • Supervisory Plant Biologist and Project Leader, USDA Forest Service, Northern Supervisory Plant Biologist and Project Leader, NRS14 and Co-Director, Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center,  Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907,  2017 - Current
    Currently serving as Project Leader for NRS14 since January 2017. This unit is composed of three scientists and two support staff. Our project represents a close collaboration between Purdue University and NRS, focused on the genetic improvement of fine hardwood tree species in the Central Hardwood Forest Region (CHFR).
  • Assistant Research Professor,  University of Missouri,  2000 - 2017
    He served as Forest Geneticist and Tree Breeder for the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (UMCA) for 18 years. Primary responsibilities included breeding black walnut for improved nut traits, conducting research focused on quantifying levels of within-species genetic variation in response to flooding for a total of eight native riparian oak species in Missouri. Additional research focused on use of genetic markers to facilitate breeding efforts in both black walnut and chestnut.
  • Tree Improvement Specialist,  Missouri Department of Conservation,  2000 - 2010
    Previously served as the Tree Improvement Specialist for the State of Missouri, Department of Conservation from 2000 through 2010. In this capacity, he worked with MDC staff to assist in the conservation of butternut (a de facto endangered species), select, propagate & evaluate black walnut timber selections for inclusion in state seed orchards, and quantify the genetic responses (within species) of native MO oak species to flooding stress.
  • Nursery Manager & Propagator,  Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Clermont, KY,  1998 - 2000
    Previously served as the woody plant propagator and nursery manager for this Research Arboretum, located just south of Louisville, KY. In addition to the re-propagation of older, existing collections, he was also responsible for the acquisition and subsequent evaluation of a number of taxa, not currently held in the arboretum collections.
  • Tree Improvement Specialist,  Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry,  1978 - 1998
    Previously served as the Tree Improvement Specialist in Indiana for 20 years. In this capacity, he was responsible for the development of a series of applied tree improvement programs for a number of fine hardwood tree species including, black walnut, northern red oak, white oak, black cherry, cherrybark oak, English oak and white ash. These efforts resulted in the development of progeny tested, clonal seed orchards that supplied the IDNR state nurseries with genetically improved seeds for their reforestation programs.
Professional Organizations
  • Member,  International Dendrology Society,  2019 - Current
    Life Member
  • Past President,  Walnut Council,  2004 - 2004
    I have served in this organization since the mid 1980's. Life Member.
  • International Oak Society,  1996 - Current
    Participant/contributor in numerous meetings. Life Member.
Awards & Recognition
  • Outstanding University of Missouri Graduate Faculty Award (Forestry), 2012
  • American Pomological Society Shepard Award for Best Research Paper, 2009
  • Black Walnut Achievement Award, Walnut Council, 2008
  • Inagural IPPS Eastern Region-Scandanavian Region Exchange Award, 1999
    Recipient of first exchange award between the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Eastern and Scandinavian Regions.
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Citations of Non-Forest Service Publications
  • McKenna, J. R. and Coggeshall, M. V. 2018. The Genetic Improvement of Black Walnut for Timber Production, in Plant Breeding Reviews (ed I. Goldman), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781119414735.ch6

  • Wu, D., Koch, J., Coggeshall, M., Carlson, J. 2019. The first genetic linkage map for Fraxinus pennsylvanica and syntenic relationships with four related species Plant Molecular Biology 99:251–264.

  • Pike, C, Warren, J, Coggeshall, M. 2018. Trends in production of hardwood tree seedlings across the northeast United States from 2008 to 2016. Tree Planter’s Notes 61(1)18-25.

  • Danh C. Vu; Phuc H. Vo; Mark V. Coggeshall; Chung-Ho Lin. 2018. Identification and characterization of phenolic compounds in black walnut kernels. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 6(17):4503-4511. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01181

  • Oren, E., Klingeman, W., Gazis, R., Moulton, J., Lambdin, P., Coggeshall, M., Hulcr, J., Seybold, S.J., Hadziabdic, D. 2018. A novel molecular toolkit for rapid detection of the pathogen and primary vector of Thousand Cankers Disease. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0185087.

  • Ebrahimi, A., Mathur, S., Lawson, S.S., LaBonte, N.R., Lorch, A., Coggeshall, M.V., Woeste, KE. 2019. Microsatellite Borders and Microsequence Conservation in Juglans. Scientific Reports. 9:3748.

  • Konar, A., Choudhury, O., Bullis, R., Fiedler, L., Kruser, J.M., Stephens, M.T., Gailing, O., Schlarbaum, S., Coggeshall, M.V., Staton, M.E., Carlson, J.E., Emrich, S.,Romero-Severson, J. 2017. High-quality genetic mapping with ddRADseq in the non-model tree Quercus rubra. BMC Genomics (2017) 18:417. DOI 10.1186/s12864-017-3765-8

  • Harmon, M., Lane, T., Staton, M., Coggeshall, M.V., Best, T., Chien‑Chih Chen, Liang, H., Zembower, N., Drautz‑Moses, D.I., Yap Zhei Hwee, Schuster, S.C., Schlarbaum, S.E., Carlson, J.E., Gailing, O. 2017. Development of novel genic microsatellite markers from transcriptome sequencing in sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.). BMC Res. Notes (2017) 10:369. DOI 10.1186/s13104-017-2653-2