New Faculty Spotlight: Zhen Wang

New faculty member in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, Zhen Wang, courtesy of Fran tenBensel Benne
Tuesday, May 23, 2023

New Faculty Spotlight: Zhen Wang

by Fran tenBensel Benne | Department of Agronomy and Horticulture

Zhen Wang joined the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture on Dec. 1 as a research assistant professor.

Aiming to improve crop nitrogen use efficiency, she is currently working on the functional analysis of genes potentially involved in sorghum/maize nitrogen uptake and utilization with Jinliang Yang, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture.

No stranger to Nebraska, Wang worked as a postdoc and research assistant professor at the university from 2008 to 2016 in the School of Biological Sciences and Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, respectively. She focused on the mechanism of model plants’ — Arabidopsis and rice — response to abiotic stress. This experience is what brought her back to the state.

Wang was born and raised in Inner Mongolia, China, where there is limited irrigation on dryland and farmers produce buckwheat, oat and sorghum.

She earned a Master of Science in plant physiology from Jilin Agricultural University in Changchun, China, in 2000 and a doctorate in plant biology from the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, in 2005.

Before coming to Nebraska in December, Wang researched alfalfa — genetics and breeding — to help improve the resistance to abiotic stress at the Institute of Animal Science at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing.

Wang said she and her family like living in Lincoln and they enjoy the natural beauty of the Midwest.