Rebecca L. Larson is a Ph.D. in Plant Science and has spent over 16 years in the sugar beet industry advancing plant development for the reduction of crop chemical use. She joined Western Sugar Cooperative in February 2015 as the lead Research Agronomist based in Denver, Colorado. Prior to this, Dr. Larson was Head of Product Evaluation (Diverse Field Crops) in North America for Syngenta.
In 2003, Dr. Larson earned her Ph.D. in Plant Science with an emphasis of Plant Pathology from Montana State University. She spent four years investigating the underlying biochemical mechanisms of biological control in sugarbeets. After completing her doctorate, she spent a year in her post doctorate position with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) branch of the USDA where she studied viral induced gene silencing for the control of Beet necrotic yellow vein virus. In 2004, Dr. Larson accepted a full time role as a Plant Physiologist with the USDA-ARS leading a proteomics lab. In this role, Dr. Larson spent time investigating sugarbeet-pathogen interactions related to inherent defense mechanisms. In 2007, with solid plant science experience, Syngenta, a leading global plant science company hired Dr. Larson as a Plant Scientist to focus on their sugarbeet seed business located in Longmont, Colorado. During her time with Syngenta, Dr. Larson served roles as Regional Trialing Lead and North American Head of R&D for sugarbeets.
Dr. Larson is a respected leader in the Plant Science field with extensive knowledge of field and lab-based research.