Mariola Usovsky

Mariola Usovsky


Research Scientist

Division of Plant Science and Technology

Research at a glance

Area(s) of Expertise

Research Summary

Mariola Usovsky leads trait introgression program via marker- and genomics-assisted breeding to improve seed composition, disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, and other value-added traits in soybean. Mariola coordinates genetic and genomic research for the Northern Soybean Breeding Program.

Mariola is a passionate molecular soybean breeder and scientist with over 10 years of public soybean breeding experience. She is highly involved in the soybean breeding pipeline and release of many soybean cultivars. Her expertise includes introgression of traits that involve high oleic and low linolenic genes for improving soybean fatty acid composition, protein genes for increasing seed protein content, soybean cyst nematode resistance genes, and genes with tolerance to Liberty® and Enlist® herbicides. She works towards optimizing plant breeding schemes to help reduce costs and time. Moreover, Mariola develops strategic directions, goals, and plans for molecular research, and provides first-line technical and people leadership. Her current professional research focuses on discovery and utilization of novel sources of soybean cyst nematode resistance to support disease management on a grower’s farm. Throughout her research discoveries, she develops and implements high-throughput molecular markers and analytics for integration of native and modern traits. She is fascinated by adoption of innovative technology and genetic diversity to unlock yield potential and increase genetic gain in soybean. She strives to develop the people, scientific knowledge, and products to meet the needs of a growing world population and a competitive world ag market.

Educational background

  • Ph.D., Soybean Breeding and Genetics, University of Arkansas
  • M.S., Horticultural Genetics, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Chania, Greece
  • M.S., Plant Biotechnology, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland
  • B.S., Biotechnology, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland