I'm anticipating graduating Summer 2024
My work is focused on investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying flooding tolerance in a biofuel cover crop called field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense). Pennycress has extreme cold hardiness which allows for off-season integration into Midwest corn and soybean fields, however, these fields are susceptible to flooding from winter snow melt and heavy spring rainfall. My research objectives are to characterize the morpho-physiological and genetic responses of pennycress natural accessions to waterlogging to identify natural variation in waterlogging tolerance. This involves RNA-sequencing to look at gene expression patterns between waterlogging tolerant and non-tolerant accessions, and functional validation of candidate waterlogging-tolerant genes using EMS mutants and gene-editing. This research is funded by the DOE Integrated Pennycress Resilience Project (pennycressresilience.org).
I chose OSU for my PhD because my program (Translational Plant Sciences) allowed flexibility in my coursework and the opportunity to pursue an industry internship.