Bo Zhang has been named assistant professor of crop and soil environmental studies in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

She is one of a number of new faculty members recently hired in the college this academic year. New positions were identified to bring talent to the college's focus areas, including food, health, the environment, and community viability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.

Zhang's research focuses upon developing new, improved, and market-needed soybean cultivars adapted to Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region. Her specific interests are to develop new and improved, conventional and herbicide tolerant soybean varieties adapted to various production systems in a steady flow, to incorporate value-added traits to specialty soybeans to reinforce Virginia soybean growers' competitive ability in various markets, and to utilize molecular techniques to modify seed compositions for seed quality improvement. Zhang has been leading the soybean breeding program at the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences since 2013 with a non-tenure track position.

Zhang received her bachelor's degree in horticulture from Shenyang Agricultural University, her master's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and her doctorate in cell and molecular biology from the University of Arkansas.