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Plant Biology Alumnae


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Plant Biology graduate students have gone on to exciting careers in academia, industry and other professional areas. Listed below are our graduates from the last few years and their current positions, as known.

Michael Urbanowski, MS, Sept 2012
Advisor: Tobias Baskin
Thesis: Development of a Cytosolic pH Reporter for Tobacco BY2 Cells
Education: BS in Microbiology/Public Health, 2010, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Current position: PhD Program in Pathobiology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute

Kenny Vasques, MS, May 2012
Advisor: Dr. Elsbeth Walker
Thesis: Investigation of YS1 and Iron Signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana
Education: BS in Biology, 2010, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Carrie Thurber, PhD, Sept 2012
Advisor: Dr. Ana Caicedo
Dissertation: The Evolutionary Genetics of Seed Shattering and Flowering Time, Two Weed Adaptive Traits in US Weedy Rice
Education: MS in Biology, 2007, SUNY Buffalo
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Crop Sciences, University of Illnois at Urbana Champaign, with Pat Brown

Burcu Kokturk Yordem, PhD, May 2012
Advisor: Dr. Elsbeth Walker
Dissertation: Establishing Brachypodium distachyon as a New Model System for Understanding Iron Homeostatis in Grasses
Education:MS in Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, 2006, Sabanci University, Turkey
Current position: Postdoctoral Research Associate, USDA-ARS, Cereal Disease Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Kistler Lab

Robert Augustine, PhD, Sept. 2011
Advisor: Dr. Magdalena Bezanilla
Dissertation: The Role of Actin Depolymerizing Factor and its Regulatory Mechanisms in Moss Tip Growth
Education: BS in Biochemistry, 2005, SUNY at Binghamton
Current position: Postdoctoral fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vierstra Lab

Anirudha Dixit, PhD, Sept. 2011
Dissertation: Functional Characterization of Stress Associated Proteins (SAPs) from Arabidopsis"
Research advisor: Dr. Om Parkash
Education: MS in Biotechnology, 2002, SRTM University
Current position: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Central Florida

Kham Vongpaseuth, PhD, May 2011
Dissertation: "Novel Systems for the Functional Characterization of Genes Related to Paclitaxel Metabolism in Taxus Cell Cultures"
Research advisor: Dr. Susan Roberts
Education: MS in Botany, 2003, University College Dublin, Ireland
Current position: Science Fellow, USDA APHIS BRS, Rockville, MD

Sydne Record, PhD, Sept 2010
Dissertation: "Impacts of invasive species on the demography and persistence of a rare, hemiparasitic plant, Swamp Lousewort (Pedicularis lanceolata)"
Research advisor: Dr. Aaron Ellison (Harvard Forest)
Education: BS in Biology, 2003, University of Puget Sound
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Forest

Shuang Wu, PhD, Feb 2010
Dissertation: "Separase: linking cell division and root morphology in Arabidopsis"
Advisor: Dr. Tobias Baskin
Education: MS in Biology, 2003, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC)
Current position: Postdoctoral fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Gallagher Lab

Heng-Hsuan Chu, PhD, Feb 2010
Dissertation: "Analyses of Arabidopsis Yellow Stripe-Like (YSL) Family of Metal Transporters"
Advisor: Dr. Elsbeth Walker
Education: BS in Botany, 2001, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan
Current position: Postdoctoral fellow, Guerinot Lab, Dartmouth

Jeff Chiecko, MS, Sept 2009
Thesis: "Investigating the role of YSLs in Oryza sativa and Arabidopsis thaliana through RT-PCR and Yeast Functional Complementation"
Advisor: Dr. Elsbeth Walker
Education: BS in Electrical Engineering, 1999, UMass Amherst
Current position: Research scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb

Jeonghwa Lee, PhD, Sept 2009
Dissertation: "The role of TOC receptor interactions in controlling protein import into chloroplasts"
Advisor: Dr. Danny Schnell
Education: MS in Biological science, 2002, Seoul National University

Mini Aggarwal Singla, MS, Sept 2009
Thesis: "Functional Analysis of Receptor-Like Kinases in Pollen-Pistil Interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana"
Research advisor: Dr. Alice Cheung
Education:MS in Botany, Panjab University-Chandigarh, India
Current position: Biochemist, Monsanto Corporation

Julie Anna Ritchie, MS, Feb. 2009
Advisor: Dr. Magdalena Bezanilla
Thesis: "Analysis of Myosin VIII Function in the Moss Physcomitrella patens"
Education: BS in Biology, 2005, SUNY Plattsburgh
Current position: Scientist III Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

Erin Mostoller, MS, September 2008
Advisor: Dr. Robin Harrington
Thesis: "Site Characteristics and Plant Invasion: Light Limitation of Invasive Establishment and Impacts of Elaeagnus umbellata on soil nitrogen availability and co-occuring species"
Education: BS in Environmental and Natural Resources, 2004, Clemson University
Current position: Biological Science Lab Technician, Crops Pathology and Genetics Research, USDA-ARS, Davis, CA

N. Ezekiel (Zeke) Nims, PhD, May 2008
Advisor: Dr. Elsbeth Walker
Dissertation: "Transcriptional analysis and metabolic profiling of Taxol-producing Taxus cell cultures."
Education: BA in Biology, 2000, Ithaca College
Current position: Scientist II at RA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Natalie Feliciano, MS, May 2008
Advisor: Dr. Jill Miller, Amherst College
Thesis: "Self-incompatibility and patterns of S-RNase evolution in African Lycium"
Education: BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2002, University of Rochester
Current position: Science Division Safety Officer, Greenfield Community College

Caleb Rounds, PhD, Sept 2007
Advisor: Dr. Danny Schnell
Dissertation: "Assembly of structurally and functionally distinct protein import translocons in chloroplasts"
Education: MA in English, 1995, Brown University
Current position: Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biology, Mount Holyoke College

Kristen Hladun, MS, Feb 2007
Advisor: Dr. Lynn Adler
Thesis: "Effects of perimeter trap crop pollen, herbivory and pollination on reproduction and plant performance in Cucurbita moschata"
Education: BA in Biology, 1999, Boston University
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Entomology, UC Riverside

Alenka Lovy Wheeler, PhD, May 2006
Advisor: Dr. Peter Hepler
Dissertation: "Actin organization and activity in lily pollen tube growth: a role for pH".
Education: Education: MS in Plant Physiology, 1999, University of Washington, Pullman.
Current position: Research Assistant Professor & Manager, Tufts/NEMC Imaging Facility

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