I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin studying molecular mechanisms for hybrid vigor and polyploidy in Arabidopsis. I was interested in gaining more experience working with crops, so I came to the University of Minnesota in summer 2014 to begin a postdoc working with Dr. Shahryar Kianian at the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Lab (CDL) and Dr. Changbin Chen in the Department of Horticulture. In this position, I worked on wheat organellar genetics and genomics and searching for new sources of salt tolerance in wheat.
I became more interested in plant pathology after joining the CDL and got involved in side-projects related to breeding for oat crown rust disease resistance with Dr. Howard Rines and genomics of Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae (Pca) with Dr. Melania Figueroa. I applied for a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellowship to work on population genomics of Pca with mentors Dr. Figueroa, Dr. Peter Morrell (Agronomy and Plant Genetics), and Dr. Gabe Gusmini (PepsiCo). Luckily, I was awarded this fellowship and am now able to join the Deparment of Plant Pathology to further expand my expertise in plant pathology and genomics.