What brought you to UGA? I was initially drawn to UGA because of the Plant Center. Even though I did work with molecular breeding at my undergrad institution, there was a disconnect between our group in the forestry department and the plant biology/genetics departments across campus. The Plant Center showed a priority in facilitating communication between different research groups.
What are your research/study interests? I’m working on the characterizing the molecular interaction between root-knot nematodes and soybeans.
What has been a benefit of being part of IPS?/How did it help you select your program? I would not be in my current lab without IPS. My PI had moved to UGA the summer before I came to UGA and hadn’t learned anything about IPS. I met my PI at the Plant Center Retreat in October and changed my final rotation the weekend before it started. The IPS program also provided great experience in other research areas. I still use techniques learned in my other rotations.
What are your career goals? I want to work in academia, but also work with the growers who will benefit from agriculture research through extension programs. There is a huge disconnect between the research lab and the applications of research. I want to help educate scientists to see all aspects of their research, instead of getting sucked up into bench work.
Who is your major professor? Dr. Melissa Mitchum