2022 Officers


President: Owen Washam

Owen has been a lifelong plantsman with a background in horticulture, botany, and mycology. He graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees from North Carolina State University in 2020. Since graduating, he has been pursuing a Master’s in Plant Pathology advised by Dr. Erin Silva. His research studies nitrate levels in organic celery. These compounds can be phytomined and utilized as a natural alternative to synthetic curing agents in the organic meat industry. After graduate school Owen hopes to work for State Extension. Personal interests include growing carnivorous plants, folk music, camping, water polo, foraging, audiobooks, and enjoying good food. He is an avid hiker and backpacker, covering many miles on the Appalachian, Florida, North Country and Ice Age National Scenic Trails


Vice President: Lin Song










Lin is a Ph.D. candidate working with Dr. Jeffrey Endelman in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics program. Her research is focusing on diploid potatoes. She likes cooking and playing some video games in her free time.


Treasurer: Daowen Huo

Daowen is a second-year Ph.D. student in Plant Pathology and she is from Henan, China. She is the office of Treasurer to serve on the 2022 Plant Science Graduate Student Council (PSGSC). It’s an honor to be part of PSGSC, work with peers, and learn from each other. Outside school, She likes outdoor activities and rock climbing.


Journal Club Chair: Fernando de la Torre

Fernando is a native of Southern California, of Mexican-American heritage. He found his way to plant research by reflecting one day (midway through college) on how fruit made its way to the cities where he grew up, given that there were no fruit trees around him. This led him to seek out classes about plants and opportunities in plant research after college. When not admiring flowers and measuring features of flower anatomy, he enjoys running and cooking. His favorite fruits are limes and mangoes. He can speak English, Spanish, and Italian
Agroecology Representative: Meg (Margaret) Baker

Meg is a master’s student in the Agroecology Program studying medicinal plants, revaluation of Indigenous science and food sovereignty. She enjoys learning about decolonized agriculture movements, community-engaged and participatory action research, and Latin American food systems. In her free time, you will find her exploring Wisconsin by running, climbing, or hiking.


Agronomy Representative: Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke is a Ph.D. student in the Agronomy Department advised by Dr. Shawn Conley. She enjoys knitting/crocheting, going home to the family farm, and exploring the outdoors with her partner and their greyhound. As a disabled student, Haleigh is passionate about increasing access in agricultural research.


Botany Representative: Tyler Wintermute

Tyler is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Keefover-Ring lab studying the chemical ecology of Populus species. He is a huge Populus nerd and enjoy natural areas, outdoor activities, exploring Madison, and Fish Frys.


Entomology Representative: Anupreksha Jain

Anupreksha (she/her) is a first-year graduate student in the Entomology department, studying global change and pollination ecology with Dr. James Crall. Outside of research, she likes talking about her housing co-op, hanging out with her housemates, cooking and eating with them… you get the idea.

Horticulture Representative: Francisco Campos

Francisco is a first year Ph.D. student working in the Plant Resilience Lab advised by Dr. Kovaleski. His research focus is understanding how climate change is affecting the plant responses to winter, specifically in terms of cold hardiness and dormancy, and how this is reflected on adaptation. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, cooking (specially desserts), reading and if the weather is warm enough, he enjoys hiking.


Integrative Biology Representative: Michelle Homann

Michelle is a first-year graduate student work in Dr. Ellen Damschen’s lab in the Integrative Biology Department. Her hobbies include hiking, camping/backpacking, caring for many house plants, baking, and crocheting.


Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics Representative: Autumn Brown



Plant Pathology Representative: Courtney Cameron

Courtney is a first year MS student in the Holland Fruit Pathology Lab. Her research is focusing on the growing grape industry in Wisconsin! In her free time, she enjoys cooking and reading her book of the month.


Soil Science Representative: Britta Welsch

Britta is a master’s student in the soil science department in Dr. Doug Soldat’s lab. She studies a couple different types of turfgrass systems in efforts to experiment with lower input and lower maintenance options for owners of lawns in Southern Wisconsin. It’s so awesome to research! Aside from trying to properly identify blades of grass, she enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits like running, biking, skiing, and climbing. When she finds herself inside, she loves to read, write, and experiment with cooking.