It shouldn’t be surprising that someone whose career and education focused on crop physiology, plant nutrition, root biology and more (SO much more) would be excited to go to work every single day with a goal of developing agricultural breakthroughs in Nutrient Use Efficiency. But as Verdesian Life Sciences’ Senior Director of Product Development, Amy Burton does just that.

“Everywhere I turn in this company, I find people who are passionate about Nutrient Use Efficiency, and from whom I learn new things all the time,” says Amy, who is based at Verdesians’ Research Triangle Park (RTP), NC, lab. “One of the most exciting parts of my job is the work our team (pictured below) does on discovery of new active ingredients. We are developing and screening different types of actives that have the potential to fit into various spots in our portfolio.”

Amy earned a Ph.D. in Crop Physiology from Penn State University, a Master’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Georgia, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Sarah Lawrence College. Her research career has focused on plant nutrition, root biology, plant stress physiology, and plant phenotyping. Prior to joining Verdesian, she was a team lead at Bayer CropScience in RTP. Her team there worked on Trait Validation with soybeans. She also worked with the Biologics group at Bayer to identify root traits altered by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in corn and soybean. Before Bayer, Amy was a post-doctoral plant physiologist with the USDA in Raleigh (NC), working on trait characterization and genetic mapping in soybean for multiple abiotic stresses, including salinity, aluminum and ozone.

In other words, she knows her stuff.

“Everything in agriculture begins in the soil, and that is where we can be most impactful with sustainability,” she says. “Over the last 100 years, we’ve lost a lot of potential in the soil. Rebuilding what we’ve lost is critically important, and as that happens, our Nutrient Use Efficiency products can bridge the gap.”

Amy grew up in southern Indiana; her family is still there today. Her career has taken her to New York, Oregon, Georgia, Pennsylvania and now North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Grant, and their daughter, Vivienne – along with Arlo the parrot and Ruby the cat. When she has free time, Amy likes traveling, gardening, and cooking.

“Plant nutrient uptake is the foundation of growth, and ultimately, of crop yield. In agriculture, we have made great strides in sustainability, but there is still more we can do,” says Amy. “Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency is one of those areas. It’s good for the environment, and it’s also good for a grower’s profitability.”

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