I received my B.S. degree with Honors in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability from the University of Illinois in 2016.  I am presently working on my Master of Science degree in Plant Biology in Dr. Lisa Ainsworth’s laboratory at the University of Illinois. I am also a 5th year member of the Fighting Illini Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field team and was a 2015 Big10 Indoor Track Champion and a 2016 Big10 Indoor Runner Up. In my free time, I like to play with my dog, Bandit, and raise Monarch Butterflies. My graduate research focuses on investigating the genetic basis for variation in maize photosynthetic responses to atmospheric pollution. Ozone (O3) pollution is estimated to reduce U.S. maize yields by ~10%, and reduced photosynthesis is a key response of maize to O3 stress. However, there is considerable genetic variation among diverse inbred and hybrid lines, and my research aims to understand the heritability of photosynthetic traits under elevated O3 and to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with O3 response. This research provides a platform for improving tolerance to O3 in maize.

Research Areas:
Botany, Environmental Plant Biology, Food Security, Genetics, Physiology

Volunteer Activities

Fighting Illini Student Athlete Advisory Committee Representative; Pollen Power Camp Counselor; Citizen Scientist Mentor

Current Affiliations
Experience & Education