The AIFARMS team is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Todd Mockler on January 6, 2023. Todd was the Geraldine and Robert Virgil distinguished investigator at the Danforth Center and cofounder of Benson Hill. He was co-PI on AIFARMS, Associate Director of Research, and co-leader of the Environmental Resilience thrust. As one of his very numerous scientific contributions, Todd was instrumental in building AIFARMS into a successful program and an essential voice on the leadership team. Todd has been described by many on the team as an energetic and cheerful person with a constant stream of brilliant ideas. He was an inspiration to the field and young scientists and will be greatly missed.
Dr. Mockler and his lab are world-renowned for their groundbreaking research on computational plant biology and genetics. The Mockler lab was key to the building and operation of the world’s largest agricultural (phenotyping) robot – the TERRA-REF field scanner. Todd played an essential role in the formation and early stages of AIFARMS. During his time on AIFARMS, his lab contributed critical datasets and knowledge to the environmental resilience thrust. Together with others in Thrust 3, he envisioned a new direction to explore novel AI techniques for high throughput phenotype and genomics. This work will continue in memory of Todd.
For more information about his life’s work, please visit the Danforth website (Todd Mockler). A personal obituary is available here.