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Justin G. A. Whitehill, Ph.D

Photo of Professor Whitehill

Assistant Professor, Christmas Tree Genetics Program Lead
Co-Director Forest Biotech Group

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
Office Partners Building II 2526
919-515-5851| Email:

Click here to visit Professor Whitehill’s faculty page where you will find a list of most of his publications


Dr. Whitehill leads the Christmas Tree Genetics (CTG) program, which is a research program housed in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University. The CTG program’s mission is to serve the tree breeding and Christmas tree genetic resource needs of the Christmas Tree industry in the state and nationally through coordinated research, extension and outreach activities. Our research leverages the disciplines of forest genetics, forest health, genomics, and chemical ecology to support the health, productivity, and long-term sustainability of the Christmas tree industry. The CTG program is responsible for research activities that engage participation from entities with interests in the long-term success of the Christmas tree industry including the North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA), NC Christmas Tree Association (NCCTA), Eastern NC Christmas Tree Growers Association (ENCCTGA), North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS) and Christmas tree growers throughout NC. Research projects relate to developing novel genomics/genetic tools to screen tree genotypes and identify elite individuals with enhanced pest/pathogen resistance, climate resilience, aroma characteristics, needle retention and added value to the industry. Major research focus will be on gene and mechanism discovery to improve Christmas trees through genomic approaches. Addressed through projects of population genetics, host-pathogen/insect interactions, genomic resources, biochemical analyses, microscopy, and the CTG Fraser fir breeding program. Dr. Whitehill also serves as the Co-director of the Forest Biotechnology Group with Dr. Jack Wang at NC State University.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Plant Biologists (2017-Present)
  • Entomological Society of America (2008-Present)
  • International Society of Chemical Ecology (2009, 2011, 2014)