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Samantha Surber

Samantha Surber

What brought you to UGA? Being from the Midwest I was looking to explore new ecosystems and plant systems of study and the South intrigued me with their programs in plants and plant interactions with the environment. The IPS program allowed me to explore new options that I was considering without making me decide quickly on what I wanted to do. For that reason I was super thankful for the rotations we did and it allowed me to meet more people while we were still mainly staying home.

What are your research/study interests? I am interested in understanding how plants are responding to the changing environment due to climate change and other stressors at a molecular level. I worked in a wide range of crop species in my prior work and I am excited to be working in a woody tree species and learning about metabolism in a new study species!

What has been a benefit of being part of IPS?/How did it help you select your program? As I said above, I really enjoyed the part of IPS where we rotated for a semester. While I see where some might think that would put you behind in a graduation track, I think quite the contrary. It allowed me to explore new realms of science before deciding on working in genetics and metabolism for sure. The ability to do that gives people the chance to meet advisors and experience different mentorship which they can then choose the best place for them and a project that they are passionate about. The rotation program is one of the reasons that drew me to UGA, and I do not think I could have found a better place for me to be for the next years of my Ph.D..

What are your career goals? I do not have a concrete answer for this because of the possibilities that have been presented to me over the last year. I would ultimately like to work in science policy and communication while also still being part of a research team. I am keeping my options open, but I plan on seeking outside opportunities in the future.

Who is your major professor? Dr. CJ Tsai

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