University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
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James L  Brewbaker

Name :

James L Brewbaker

Title :


Unit :

Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences

Address :

3190 Maile Way
                  Honolulu, HI 96822

Room :

St. John 102

Phone :


Fax :


E-mail :

Website :

Specialties :

Plant Breeding and Genetics: Corn-Production-all aspects Leucaena-Production-all aspects Corn-Breeding Koa-Breeding Koa-Production-all aspects Forestry in gen.-BreedingForage Crops in gen.-Breeding-Sensory Evaluation-Corn Bioenergy, notably bioethanol

Professional Prep/Appointments :

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    Univ. of Colorado 1944; Southern Methodist U. 1945 (US Navy); Texas U. 1945-6 (US Navy)

    Univ. Colorado 1946-8, BS Cum Laude, 1948 (Major; General Science)

    Cornell University 1948-52, Ph.D.1952 (Major; Plant Breeding and Biometry)



     1952       National Science Foundation, Post-doctoral fellowship, Institute of Genetics, U. Lund, Sweden

     1953-5   Asst. Prof., Dept. Agronomy, Univ. Philippines, Los Baños, Philippines

     1956-61 Assoc. Geneticist, Biology Dept., Brookhaven National Lab, US Atomic Energy Commission

     1961 -    Assoc. Prof. and Prof. (1964-), Dept. Tropical Plant and Soil Science (Horticulture), U. Hawaii 


 SABBATIC LEAVES:     (6 mos., except 1967—one year)

     1959   Geneticist, International Agricultural Exposition, Delhi, India

     1967   Geneticist, Rockefeller Foundation, Maize Program, Kasetsart U., Bangkok, Thailand

     1970   Consultant for International Atomic Energy Agency at Philippine Atomic Energy Commission

     1974   Visiting Prof., Cornell University, Dept. Plant Breeding & Biometry

     1978   Visiting Scientist, CIAT (Centro Internacional Agricultura Tropical), Cali, Colombia

     1981   Visiting Scientist, Taiwan Agric. Res. Inst. & Taiwan Forestry Res. Inst., Taichung, Taiwan

     1985   Visiting Prof., Australia National U. (Canberra) and U. Queensland (Brisbane), Australia

     1989   Visiting Scientist, IITA (International Institute for Tropical Agriculture), Ibadan, Nigeria

     1993   Visiting Prof., U. Queensland (Brisbane), Australia and Resident Scholar, Bellagio Study Center,

                   Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio, Italy

     1997   Visiting Scientist, CIMMYT (Internat’l Center for Improvement Maize & Wheat), Texcoco, Mexico

     2000   Visiting Prof., National Pingtung Univ. Science & Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan

     2003   Visiting Scientist, Dept. Primary Industries, Kairi, Queensland, Australia



     1975    Elected Fellow, American Society of Agronomy

    1978    Outstanding Service Award, Office of Rural Development, Korea

    1980    Award for Excellence in Research, University of Hawaii

    1982    Gamma Sigma Delta Award, Distinguished Service to Agriculture

    1982    G. J. Watamull Distinguished Achievement Award, International Agriculture

    1984    Crop Science Research Award, American Society of Agronomy

    1985    Elected Fellow, Crop Science Society of America

    1986   International Inventor’s Award, Forestry, Swedish Inventors’ Association

    1988    Scientist of the Year, ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Students)

    1990    Superior Service Award, U. S. Department of Agriculture

    1992    Genetics and Plant Breeding Award, National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders

    1995    DeKalb Genetics Distinguished Scientific Career Award, American Society Agronomy

    1995    Ninety Distinguished Faculty, University of Hawaii (upon its 90th birthday)

    1999    Commemorative Issue, Maydica, 44:(4); "Bringing Maize Genetics to the Mid-Pacific"

    2006    Life membership, Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (as Founder)

    2006    Establishment of “James L. Brewbaker Scholarship” by Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

    2007    Plaque, “Father of Tropical Sweet Corn”, International Sweet Corn Development Association

    2007    Plaque, “Years of Service to Maize Research, Teaching and Extension”, Guangdong Academy of

                  Agricultural Sciences, Guangzhou, China

    2009    Seed Science Award, Crop Science Society of America
    2011    Vegetable Breeder Award, Amer. Soc. Horticultural Science
    2013    President' Lifetime Achievement Award, Amer. Soc. Plant Breeding


Research in plant breeding, genetics, biometry and tropical agriculture, including:

  •  Breeding and genetics of tropical sweet and field corn; Released inbreds, hybrids and varieties that are grown worldwide. Major seed sales and royalties for Univ. Hawaii.

  •  Quantitative genetics of disease and pest resistance in corn; Released 1500 inbred lines in recombinant and near-isogenic populations for genetic study, and many improved synthetics and varieties

  •  Identification and mapping of genes and quantitative-trait loci in corn

  •  Establishment of research grants to support 50 graduate students in crop improvement

  •  Identification and mapping of genes and quantitative-trait loci in corn

  •  Genetic improvement of leguminous tropical trees (a) Leucaena spp., hybrids and varieties grown worldwide for fodder, fuel, paper and other products, (b) Acacia koa, Hawaii's premier timber


Consultancies in tropical agriculture and agroforestry in Australia, Cameroon, Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad


Chairman of Graduate Thesis committees of 26 PhD and 26 MS candidates (in Horticulture, Agronomy, Genetics, Tropical Plant Science) in U. Hawaii. Teacher of Experimental Design (1961-), Radiation Biology (1961-70), Plant Biochemical Genetics (1970-84), Quantitative Genetics (1988-2007), Tropical Seed Science (1999-2006). 


Founder (1970) Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, now representing Hawaii’s largest agricultural (seed) industry;  Founder (1976) and Director Hawaii Foundation Seeds ( ).



American Society of Agronomy (Fellow 1975), Amer. Soc. Horticultural Science, Crop Science Soc. America (Fellow 1985), Hawaiian Academy of Science (President 1978), Hawaiian Botanical Society (President 1967), Hawaii Crop Improvement Ass'n (Founder and Executive Sec'y. 1970-1984), Hawaii Forest Industry Ass’n. (Board, 2002-2005), International Soc. Tropical Foresters, National Sweet Corn Breeder's Ass'n (President 1987), Nitrogen Fixing Tree Ass'n (Founder and President 1981-1990), Sigma-Xi Hawaii (President 1990).



Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Mu Epsilon, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Sigma, Gamma Alpha, Gamma Sigma Delta; Listings in American Men and Women of Science (1960-), Men and Women of Hawaii (1966, Who's Who in the West (1967-), Personalities of the West and Midwest (1969), Dictionary of International Biography (1969), Who’s Who in American Higher Education (1971), Men of Achievement (1973-), Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans (1976), Personalities of America (1982), International Book of Honor (1982), Leaders in Hawaii (1983), International Who's Who of Contemporary Achievement (1984), Who's Who in Science and Engineering (1991), Two Thousand Notable American Men (1994), etc.

Courses Offered:

TPSS 866 - Field and Sweet corn genetics
 TPSS 803 - Leucaena and Koa tree improvement

Professional Interests :

Field Corn genetics and breeding
Supersweet (vegetable) corn genetics and breeding
Leucaena (koa haole) genetic improvement
Acacia koa genetic improvement
Quantitative genetic and experimental design theory

Selected Publications :

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1964   Agricultural Genetics, 156 pp., Prentice-Hall (Translations; 7 languages)

1993   Experimental Design on a Spreadsheet, 173 pp. on CD (v.4, 2004)

1994   Biometry on a Spreadsheet, 136 pp. on CD (v. 3, 2004)

1995   Quantitative Genetics on a Spreadsheet, 163 pp. on CD (v. 2, 2004)

2003   Corn Production in the Tropics, 66 pp.


 Author or co-author; 286 Scientific Publications (~50% in refereed journals) incl. 6 chapters in books. Chair and editor of 13 international workshops or conferences. Editor:  Leucaena Research Reports (1980-1992), Nitrogen-Fixing Tree Research Reports (1983-1992). Assoc. Editor, J. Genetics & Breeding (1999-)



Languages :