host-microbe interactions

science policy and communication

academic community engagement

teaching and mentoring

Host-Microbe Interactions

Trained in plant-microbe interactions and biochemistry, I have worked on plant resistance genes, bacterial-fungal interactions in close symbioses, and microbial effector proteins. I am most interested in how microbes influence each other and interact with their host(s) on a molecular level. My skill set is largely in eukaryotic and prokaryotic genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, in vitro and in planta assays, and bioinformatic analyses like genome assembly and RNA-seq.

My research goals have ranged from fundamental biology to more applied molecular biology. I have worked to identify how microbes adapt to different environments and each other, including how they control hosts to inform disease control and breeding/engineering resistant plants. I have continued working on diverse projects with collaborators at different institutions while developing skills and resources for an independent program.

My current work investigates bacterial symbionts of fungi with a larger goal of understanding how bacterial-fungal interactions impact plant health (plant-microbe-microbe interactions). I am interested in using bacterial-fungal interactions to probe fundamental bacterial and fungal biology, such as investigating secretion systems, metabolite production and exchange, and partner selection conditions. Ultimately, I expect studying bacterial-fungal interactions at a molecular level will open new avenues of fungal pathogen control in plants and animals, as well as plant growth promotion.

Effector biology

Bacterial-fungal interactions

Plant Resistance

Science Policy and Communication

The impact of science comes from taking discoveries out of the lab and into the world. The regulations, funding structures, and goals set up by policy makers impact the science we can do and how useful our findings can be. Through workshops and internships, I have learned how to be an effective science communicator and seen how scientists can contribute to evidence-based policy making. I continue to look for opportunities to teach others about science policy, write white papers on relevant topics, and provide input on policy decisions through letters and comment periods.

Advocating in DC

Teaching a Workshop on Genome Editing

Academic Community Engagement

Science is best done by diverse people who are supported and valued. I have worked to make academia better through mentorship of peers and undergraduates, improving student resources, and increasing student and trainee representation at decision-making tables. I take pride in helping others succeed and love connecting with students to demystify the academic career path and be an ally in their journey. I also care about fostering a sense of community whether that is through Chili Cook Offs, Twitter, or Coffee Breaks.

PPPMB GSA Outstanding Service Award Recipient

Facilitating the SIPS Annual Chili Cook Off

Teaching and Mentoring

Inspiring and empowering students for their own success, especially within science, is a central part of my role as an academic scientist. Selfishly, I work best when working with others and see their interest and excitement progress as they get more exposure to the research and discoveries. I think connection with the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge through active learning and mentored research experiences is critical to gaining real understanding. In my current role, I am thankful for any opportunity to interact with students especially through guest lectures (see Contact page).

Mentee Presentation

Virtual Guest Lectures

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