Susan McCouch is a Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Plant Biology, Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University. She received her PhD from Cornell in 1990 and spent 5 years with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines before joining the Cornell faculty in 1995. Her research focuses on rice and includes publication of the first molecular map of the rice genome in 1988, early QTL studies on disease resistance, drought tolerance, maturity and yield, cloning of genes underlying domestication traits, and demonstrating that low-yielding wild and exotic Oryza species harbor genes that can enhance the performance of modern, high-yielding cultivars. Recently, she has used genome wide association studies (GWAS) to demonstrate that the different subpopulations of O. sativa have significantly different genetic architecture underlying complex trait variation, providing new insights into the genetic basis of transgressive variation, and supporting an ancient divergence between cultivated groups. She has trained scores of young scientists throughout the world, was recently elected a fellow of the AAAS and has received numerous research, teaching and faculty awards.