I'm anticipating graduating Spring 2025
My research focuses on the phytopathogen Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii (Pnss) that causes leaf blight and Stewart's wilt in susceptible maize varieties. Our work exploits a Pnss-transposon mutant library to characterize essential genes required for successful colonization of the maize apoplast microenvironment with complementary temporal and spatial visualization by confocal microscopy. This project will also place special emphasis on curricular development in high school biology courses and outreach for high school students’ research opportunities.
I chose HCS for two reasons. First, because I wanted to work with my advisor, Dr. David Mackey and his work on molecular host:microbe interactions utilizing Pnss and maize. Second, because Dr. Mackey and HCS were open to allowing a non-traditional student to peruse a graduate degree and develop hands on learning opportunities for urban/suburban high school students.