I'm a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the Donald Danforth Center for Plant Science in St Louis, MO. I received my PhD in Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology from Michigan State University.
My research program uses various non‑model species and a hypothesis driven, systems approach to examine how these factors impact plant defense. I am particularly fascinated by how plants have navigated the fine line between growth and defense,
evolving different strategies to optimize interactions with their microbial environments to maximize fitness. Recent projects, for example, assess the impact of domestication on circadian‑modulated defens in tomato, identify a chimeric allele for virus resistance in heterozygous cassava, and investigate mechanisms of ontogenic resistance in cucumber. My long term goal is to explore fundamental mechanisms of defense optimization, deepening our understanding of plant‑microbe interactions and providing direct, translatable implications for agricultural sustainability in a changing climate.