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Lyndel Meinhardt

Lyndel W. Meinhardt is the Research Leader for the Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory at the Beltsville Area Research Center – USDA/ARS. Prior to join ARS, he worked as a visiting scientist in Brazil for 10 years where he collaborated with the Xylella fastidiosa, Moniliophthora perniciosa and the coffee genomes. Dr. Meinhardt has 25 years of experience researching plant-microbial interactions and during the last 17 years has focused on tropical plant diseases and genetic diversity. He has specialized in molecular interactions, specifically looking at how diseases develop and has worked with diseases of cacao since 2001 and in 2005 expanded his research to focus on the identification of unique wild and landrace cacao populations and the utilization of genetic diversity for the improvement of sourcing and authentication of premium varieties. Dr. Meinhardt was born in Keokuk, IA and grew up on a family farm in Northeastern Missouri. He received a Bachelor in Agronomy from the University of Missouri in 1987 and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology in 1992 from the University of Missouri.