Nat is a PostDoc in the lab of Dan Voytas at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on using gene editing techniques in crop species, with a focus on improving knock-in frequencies with geminivirus replicons. He is also interested in improving science communication with the public, and helping other scientists do so effectively. In the past he has started a Science on Tap program, and given presentations to a wide variety of audiences, from elementary schools to breweries. Outside of the lab he can often be found camping with his wife and dog, or brewing some homebrew!

Research Areas:
Applied Plant Biology, Education and Outreach, Genetics, Molecular Biology


Graham ND, Cody JP, Swyers NC, McCaw ME, Zhao C, Birchler JA (2015) Engineered Minichromosomes in Plants: Structure, Function, and Applications. International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology 318:63–119.

Cody JP, Swyers NC, McCaw ME, Graham ND, Zhao C, Birchler JA (2015) Minichromosomes: Vectors for Crop Improvement. Agronomy 5:309–321.

Graham ND, Swyers NC, Gaeta RT, Zhao C, Cody JP, Birchler JA (2015) Telomere-mediated Chromosomal Truncation via Agrobacterium tumefaciens or Particle Bombardment to Produce Engineered Minichromosomes in Plants. Bio-Protocol 5(18): e1595. Available at:

Birchler J, Graham N, Swyers N, Cody J (2016) Plant minichromosomes. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 37:135–142.

Graham N, Swyers N, Cody J, McCaw M, Zhao C, Birchler J (2016) Production of Engineered Minichromosome Vectors via the Introduction of Telomere Sequences. Chromosome and Genetic Engineering in Plants: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology 1-13.

McCaw M, Swyers N, Graham N, Cody J, Zhao C, Birchler J (2016) Preparation of Chromosomes from Zea mays. Current Protocols in Plant Biology 1:501-509.

McCaw M, Graham N, Cody J, Swyers N, Zhao C, Birchler J (2016) Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization to Maize (Zea mays) Chromosomes. Current Protocols in Plant Biology 1:530-545.

Swyers N, Cody J, McCaw M, Graham N, Zhao C, Gaeta R, Birchler J (2016) Telomere-mediated chromosomal truncation for generating engineered minichromosomes in maize. Current Protocols in Plant Biology 1:488-500.

Cody, J., Graham, N., and Birchler, J. (2017) BiBAC Modification and Stable Transfer into Maize (Zea mays) Hi‐II Immature Embryos via Agrobacterium‐Mediated Transformation. Current Protocols in Plant Biology 2:350–369.

Current Affiliations
Experience & Education