Bio

Veronica Sondervan is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, where she received six merit scholarships and participates in the Honors Program. Veronica has conducted research in four plant science labs, and is an associate member of Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Honor Society. In summer 2017 she researched the function and evolution of nitrate transporters in dikarya fungi as a Summer Research Intern in Plant Pathology in the Evolution of Fungal Ecology Lab (Dr. Jason Slot) at The Ohio State University, and gave a presentation to the Department of Plant Pathology. She previously researched the metabolic flux of nitrogen in Spirodela polyrhiza (duckweed) in the Plant Metabolomics Lab (Dr. Adrian Hegeman) at the University of Minnesota. She presented results in a poster at the University of Minnesota 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium, and won a Sigma Xi New Student Member Award for superior accomplishments. She has worked at the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory (Dr. Shahryar Kianian) in Saint Paul, Minnesota, part-time since September 2015 and full-time in summer 2016, helping with projects such as alloplasmic wheat lines and crop resistances to wheat stem rust, oat crown rust, and Fusarium head blight. While still in high school, Veronica was selected as a 2014 USDA Wallace-Carver Fellow and interned at the USDA-ARS NCGRP Plant Germplasm Preservation Research Unit (Dr. Christina Walters) in Fort Collins, Colorado, researching seed longevity of wild species stored for 65 years, and improvements to storage methods for recalcitrant seeds. Veronica plans to pursue a Ph.D. related to plant biology and bioinformatics and work as a research scientist in an academic, government or industrial setting. She won an informal R coding award at the 2016 TACC Summer Supercomputing Institute on Scientific Visualization and Data Analysis, and was a 2014 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing National Runner-Up and Georgia winner. Veronica has performed research for the Real Food Challenge’s Real Food Calculator with the student group U Students Like Good Food, taught about grain domestication at a farmers market through Market Science outreach, and served as a Group Leader at the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, which she formerly attended as a delegate. Veronica grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, with a half Dutch heritage, and has studied Dutch, Spanish and Korean.

Research Areas:
Applied Plant Biology, Computational Biology, Evolution, Food Security, Genomics, Metabolism

Volunteer Activities

Real Food Challenge Research Assistant, U Students Like Good Food, Minneapolis, MN, 2016-Present

Market Scientist, Market Science (outreach at farmers markets), Minneapolis, MN, Sept. 2016

Group Leader, World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, Des Moines, IA, Oct. 2015

FUN Volunteer, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, GA, 2010-2015

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