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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

W. Walker Spivey

Graduate Research Assistant
Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, PeeDee Research and Education Center

Office: Pee Dee Research & Education Center
Phone: 843-877-2197



Educational Background

M.S. PES - Crop Physiology
Clemson University 2023

B.S. Plant and Environmental Sciences: Agricultural Biotechnology
Clemson University 2021


I am a first-year Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Trevor Rife with co-advisement from Dr. Jenna Hershberger. In the Rife Lab, I will be working on developing new phonemic tools which aid in improving the breeding pipeline for various crops including lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), and corn (Zea mays).

I completed my M.S. of Plant and Environmental Sciences in the Narayanan crop ecophysiology lab in August 2023. My M.S. research focused on characterizing heat-tolerance mechanisms in the peanut crop by evaluating leaf lipidome alterations and physiological responses.

Research Interests

I am interested in working on issues related to crop improvement, phenomics, environmental science, food security, and plant breeding. I am open to collaborating with individuals in other disciplines and educating people about the world of plant science.


Spivey, W.W., Rustgi, S., Welti, R., Roth, M.R., Burow, M.D., Bridges Jr, W.C. and Narayanan, S., 2023. Lipid modulation contributes to heat stress adaptation in peanut. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14.

Spivey, W.W., Williamson, Z., Seiter, J., Abrahamian, P., Wang, H., Greene, J., and Cieniewicz, E.J. 2023. Analysis of cotton leafroll dwarf virus P0 gene sequences from South Carolina reveals low variability among isolates. Plant Disease.

Spivey, W. W., Burow, M.D., Rustgi, S., Bridges, W.C., & Narayanan, S. (2022) Characterization of a Peanut Breeding Population for Heat Tolerance [Poster]. ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.

Spivey, W.W., Van Bloem, S.J. (Dec. 2020). Forest Management in the “Clemson Forest”. The Blue Heron. DeBordieu Colony Community Association, p3.

Slow Sand Filters for Horticulture: What’s Old Has Become New
J Majsztrik, NL Bell, L Kome, WW Spivey, SA White - 2019 ASHS Annual Conference, 2019.

Wetland Plant Bioremediation of Paclobutrazol from Nursery and Greenhouse Runoff
W. Walker Spivey, Emily Jordan, Devin Orr, Natasha Bell, Laura Garcia-Chance - Clemson Biological Sciences Annual Student Symposium - Spring 2019.


Rife Lab Website
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College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences
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