The Department of Horticulture and Crop Science filled new faculty positions this past summer. We welcome Dr. Andrea Gschwend and Dr. Wendy Klooster as part of our research and teaching faculty. Read more about Dr. Gschwend and Dr. Klooster below. Dr. Gschwend will fill the position of Assistant Professor of Crop Molecular Biology and Functional Genetics, while Dr. Klooster will be the new Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, focusing on Horticulture.
Andrea Gschwend earned her B.A. in Biology from Augustana College and Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of Illinois. As a graduate student, her research focused on the evolution of papaya sex chromosomes. Dr. Gschwend carried out her postdoc at the University of Chicago, investigating the role of newly evolved genes on the reproductive fitness of Drosophila melanogaster. She spent a year teaching Genetics at Loyola University before starting at The Ohio State University. Her research program at OSU uses a combination of molecular, computational, and functiona lapproaches to identify and study newly evolved genes underlying fitness-related traits, such as environmental adaptation and agriculturally desirable phenotypes, for crop improvement efforts in grapes.
Wendy received her M.S. in Horticulture from Michigan State University in 2008, and completed her Ph.D. in the Ohio State Horticulture and Crop Science Department in 2012. Her research focused on plant growth and physiology, as well as post-disturbance forest ecology. She then transitioned to a post-doctoral position in the Ohio State Entomology Department where she began developing her teaching portfolio; she gained more pedagogical experience while serving as the Entomology Academic Program Coordinator until being hired by HCS. She is thrilled to be back in the HCS department, and also enjoys serving as an OSU STEP Faculty Mentor.