Eric (Rick) Jellen is a professor of crop genetics at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He graduated with a doctorate in plant breeding from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 1992 and did postdoctoral research on wheat and oat genetics with the USDA-ARS at Kansas State University. One focus of his research is on improvement of oats through understanding the genetic effects of chromosome rearrangements that have occurred in the evolution of this complex cereal species. Another focus of his work is on improving the adaptation of Andean quinoa through breeding with its widespread North American ancestor-weed pitseed goosefoot. He is heavily involved in efforts to introduce quinoa and novel oat strains in various areas of the Developing World.