Dr. Hernan Garcia-Ruiz
I study the evolution and genetic variation of plant viruses using a combination of computational and laboratory approaches. We hope to better understand how host and vector selection pressures affect the co-evolution of viruses. This research will inform resistance breeding and the creation of viral diagnostic tests.
Katherine graduated from Oberlin College in 2018 with a BA in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. At Oberlin, she worked in a C. elegan laboratory studying myosin mutations and was involved in several tutoring programs. She became interested in the field of plant pathology during a summer undergraduate research experience at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with her future PhD advisor, Dr. Garcia-Ruiz. During the summer, Katherine participated in a project using CRISPR to try and knock out a series of linked genes thought to be important for plant immunity.