Program Specialization:Integrated Plant Biology
Research Description:My current focus is a project initiated by Dr. David Hyten and Dr. Tom Clemente of UNL investigating the processes controlling meiotic crossover (CO). Increasing the sheer number of meiotic crossovers or altering meitotic crossover "hotspots" could unlock genetic diversity which will have many breeding applications. Genes have been identified in Arabidopsis mutants to alter CO. Orthologs of these genes have been chosen in soybean to be a target for RNA interference using transgenic technology via agrobacterium. Another, yet related, project of mine is to explore alternative high-throughput sequencing techniques to decrease labor and increase cost efficiency.
So a little about me. I was born and partially raised in WV, near Huntington. We had a large backyard where I spent a lot of time helping my mom in the garden and had a small vegetable plot of my own. My parents always had projects going on around the house so Lowe's was about a weekly visit. Often my parents would allow me to choose a plant to take home, within a certain price range of course. My favorite thing was to choose a plant from what I call "death row" (discounted plants in back) to nurture back to life. I learned a bit about the different plant stresses doing this and I still rescue plants from "death row" to this day. My family later moved to Myrtle Beach, SC when I was a teenager and thus recognize SC as my home state. I spent more time at the beach than in the garden then, but my fascination with plants and insects persisted.