President: Austin Meier
Austin, like most PhD students, is split between several projects in his lab(s). The main focus of his research is on the breeding of potatoes for disease resistance, primarily using molecular techniques (cloning, transformation, and the likes) to find resistance to Verticillium wilt, and more traditional breeding methods (crosses, phenotyping, and selection) for resistance to late blight and early blight.
Art is one of Austin’s greatest passions (behind science, of course.) and in his free time he likes to paint, draw, and work with digital art mediums. He also enjoys Kuk Sool Won, a form of martial arts.
To top it all off, Austin enjoys drinking delicious beers, eating delicious cheeses, and playing video games.
Vice President: Sarah Turner
Sarah is a first year PhD student in Plant Breeding/Plant Genetics. Her research involves investigating the genetic relationships among germination, seedling vigor, and canopy density in carrots for an organic production system. In her free time, Sarah enjoys art, reading, movies, spending time with friends, and hanging out with her dog.
Brittany is a second year MS student in Plant Breeding/Plant Genetics. Her research focuses on vegetative phase change in maize. Favorite activities include: art projects, sports, picnics, baking, outdoor activities, and watching the Green Bay Packers.
Courtney is a second-year MS student in Agroecology and Agronomy. Her research focuses on glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed in Wisconsin. Specifically, she is investigating the level of resistance, mechanism of resistance, and differences in non-competitive productivity between glyphosate-resistant and –susceptible plant populations. She is also interested in ecologically-based weed management as an approach to prevent and manage herbicide-resistant weeds. She enjoys cooking, backpacking, painting, and gardening.
Katie is a second year M.S. candidate in horticulture. She is working on improving stand persistence of peppermint and spearmint through management changes like evaluating nutrient uptake and allocation throughout the plant, stolon health properties, and mowing trials. She is also in the process of creating a sustainability tool for Wisconsin mint by working with mint producers in the state.
Katie’s hobbies include growing fruit and vegetables in her community garden plot and preserving them, cooking, gluten free baking, traveling, spinning yarn and knitting, and rock climbing. She aims to bring new educational opportunities and better networking to the plant science graduate students.
Scott is a third year PhD student in Plant Breeding/Plant Genetics. His research involves dissecting the genetic architecture of root hair length and density responses to differential phosphorus levels using GWAS and QTL mapping in maize, and additionally, he studies epigenomic responses, specifically DNA methylation patterns, in tissue culture regenerated maize plans, serving as a model for epigenetic modifications induced by abiotic stresses in maize.
In his free time, Scott enjoys fishing, ATVing, hunting, weight lifting, a good beer, and of course, being a borderline unhealthy Green Bay Packers fanatic.
Jen is a first year PhD student in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics. Her research focuses on identifying independent sources of Fusarium Basal Rot (FBR) and Pink Root (PR) resistance in onion, investigating if combinations among identified independent sources of resistance provide greater disease control, and mapping QTLs conferring FBR and PR resistance.
In her free time, Jen loves reading, cooking, camping, hiking, river rafting, and spending time with her family and friends.