Roy Cantrell, Ph.D.

Roy Cantrell, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor


With almost four decades of experience as a plant breeder in both the public and private sectors, Roy Cantrell brings immense expertise and sought-after specialty to his role as Scientific Advisor at Catalyst BC. His career began on his family farm in Texas and has taken him around the world. Through international experience, he has gained insight and diversified expertise in plant breeding, international and digital agriculture, environmental science and sustainability. As a published writer, Roy has co-authored 5 book chapters and 77 scientific papers on various aspects of plant genetics and breeding. He has also assisted in the development and public release of 15 cotton varieties, 11 cotton germplasm lines or genetic stocks, and three wheat cultivars.

Roy worked for Monsanto for over a decade and held various roles including Cotton Discovery & Molecular Breeding Lead, Global Cotton Breeding Lead, and most recently Global Breeding Outreach & Partnerships Lead. In these roles, Roy championed the modernization of North American and Indian breeding programs, led the transition to Single Seed Descent (SSD), and launched multiple Root Knot Nematode (RKN) resistant varieties. Roy also led the successful germplasm transition from BollGard 2 Roundup Ready Flex to Bollgard 2 Xtend Flex, while sustaining genetic gain for yield and fiber quality. In his role as Global Breeding Outreach & Partnership Lead, Roy led outreach efforts in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Genetic Improvement of Tropical Legumes in Africa, Borlaug Training Foundation, and the Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program.

The ongoing passion for advanced topics such as Global Breeding Management, Genetics and Society, Breeding Methodology (Optimizing Genetic Gain), Molecular Breeding and Germplasm Diversity and Introgression has continued to fuel Roy’s global influence. In 2000, Roy was one of the framers and founders of the International Cotton Genome Initiative (ICGI). Roy has taught numerous graduate and undergraduate courses in Plant Genetics, Genetics & Society, and Plant Breeding, as well as trained multiple Ph.D., MS and Post-Doctoral students in Plant Breeding.
His education includes a BS in Crop Science from Texas Tech University, an MS in Plant Breeding and Genetics as well as a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.

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