Lia B. Olmedo Pico, Chair
Lia is a PhD candidate in the Department of Agronomy advised by Dr. Tony Vyn. Her research focuses on studying the physiological mechanisms behind potential kernel weight determination in corn as affected by nitrogen availability. Lia earned a BS in agricultural engineering from University of Catamarca and a MS in crop physiology from University of Mar del Plata, both in her home country of Argentina.
Blake A. Russell, Past Chair
Blake is a PhD candidate in the plant breeding and genetics program in the Department of Agronomy. He is advised by Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi and is a member of the small grains breeding lab. Blake’s research focuses on identifying traits related to yield and nitrogen use efficiency in winter wheat. He earned a BS in biology from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2016.
Mariela S. Fernandez Campos
Mariela is an MS student from Costa Rica. She earned a BS in agronomy from Zamorano Panamerican Agricultural School in Honduras. Her research focuses on epidemiological and plant disease phenotyping studies of M. oryzae Triticum (MoT), the causal agent of the wheat blast disease. Her goal is to develop accurate and precise high throughput phenotyping methods for wheat blast symptom detection using optical sensors.
Connor earned a BS in plant sciences from Montana State University in 2017. He is now working toward an MS in weed sciences under Dr. Bill Johnson. Connor’s projects focus on the long-term effects that incorporating synthetic auxin herbicides may have on corn-soy rotations that use synthetic auxin-resistant soybeans. He also works to identify cover crop programs that may be beneficial in buffer zones required in some synthetic auxin-resistant soybean cropping systems.
Amanpreet is a PhD candidate in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. Her research interests are molecular genetics and bioinformatics. She joined Dr. Guri Johal’s lab in 2016, and her doctoral research focuses on identifying mechanisms controlling plant height in maize. She grew up in Punjab, India, and holds a BS and MS in agricultural biotechnology from Punjab Agricultural University.
Youngwoo Lee is a fifth-year Purdue Interdisciplinary Life Science Education Program (PULSe) student pursuing a PhD in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology under the guidance of Dr. Daniel Szymanski. He is exploring the RBPs’ mechanisms underlying mRNA transport, localization, and post-transcriptional events during rice seed development. Youngwoo received his BS from Chungbuk National University and MS from University of Seoul in Korea.
Miguel is a PhD candidate in Agronomy with majors in plant breeding and genetics and crop physiology and ecology. His research with Dr. Katy Martin Rainey focuses on assessing natural diversity, genetic architecture, and field phenotyping for the efficiency of solar radiation interception, efficiency of solar radiation conversion into biomass and harvest index in soybean. Miguel earned a BS in agronomy and MS in crop physiology from Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Rachel earned a BS in biology from the University of Evansville and is a PhD candidate in Horticulture working with Dr. Josh Widhalm. She is broadly interested in the vast array of specialized chemicals plants make to interact with the environment. Her thesis work elucidates the biosynthesis of juglone, an allelopathic natural product from black walnut and other Juglandaceae.
George W. Meyer
George majored in biochemistry and plant science breeding, biology and biotechnology at the University of Missouri. He is a PhD student in the Department of Horticulture, where he studies plant secondary metabolism.
Mariah is pursuing a PhD in botany and plant ecology in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. She is a member of Dr. Gordon McNickle’s lab. Her current project looks at what contributes to the diversity productivity relationship in annual plants. Mariah earned a BS in plant sciences from Purdue in 2017 with minors in plant biology and crop science.
Raquel Peron is a PhD student in the Purdue Interdisciplinary Life Science Education Program (PULSe). In fall 2017 she joined the Department of Entomology, where she develops her thesis under the guidance of Dr. John J. Couture. Her current research interests are hyperspectral phenotyping of plant physiological responses to biotic and abiotic stress, plant physiology and plant-insect-stress interaction.
Lauren is an MS student in the Department of Agronomy. She is advised by Dr. Tony Vyn and works in cropping systems. She earned her BS in agronomy, with an emphasis in crop business and management, and seed science from Iowa State University in 2018. Her research is focused on optimal potassium management in corn through investigation into timing and rate.
Seth A. Tolley
Seth is a second-year MS student advised by Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi. His research focuses on phenotyping a diverse collect of wheat to better understand tolerance of nitrogen deficiency and drought. Seth graduated from the University of Illinois in 2017.