August 2014 - present, Ms/PhD student, Plant Pathology, School of Integrative Plant Science, Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology Section, Cornell University
May 2014, Bachelor of Science, Plant Biology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Graduate Advisor: Sarah Pethybridge
Our lab’s research focuses on improving soil health of vegetable crops through exploring both the epidemiology and management of soilborne vegetable diseases. My research is aimed at understanding and refining the quantification of disease risk by using the root knot nematode Meloidogyne hapla/potato pathosystem as a model. I am using molecular biology techniques to identify and quantify nematode populations within the soil pre-plant; from this, I am seeking to develop risk algorithms to assess risk of subsequent potato crop loss from potato Root knot nematode, while also investigating how spatial and temporal factors may influence nematode populations.
Summer 2013 – Plant Pathology Summer Scholar, Cornell University (Geneva, NY). Conducted research at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY on biological control agents of the pathogen Alternaria brassicicola on cabbage. Faculty mentor: Dr. Helene Dillard
Summer 2012 – Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN). Conducted research at Purdue University on genetic and environmental influences on innate plant immunity responses. Faculty mentor: Dr. Guri Johal
Summer 2010 – Summer Intern, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Assisted Dr. Wooldridge and members of the laboratory conducting research on fuel combustion optimization. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Margaret Wooldridge
Professional Societies and Working Groups
- American Phytopathological Society
- Phi Beta Kappa honor society
Cornell University New York State Agriculture Experiment Station. (2013). Alternaria Leaf Spot of Cabbage. [Fact Sheet]. http://web.pppmb.cals.cornell.edu/dillard/pdf/alternaria.pdf
Vontimitta, V. et.al. Exploring natural variation underlying R gene-mediated immune response in maize using MAGIC. Poster presented at: 55th Annual Maize Genetics Conference; 2013 March 14-17; St. Charles, IL, USA.
Gorny, A.M., Marla, S.R., Johal, G.S. Genetic Investigation of Temperature Sensitivity of a Maize Autoimmune R-gene. Poster presented at: 55th Annual Maize Genetics Conference; 2013 March 14-17; St. Charles, IL, USA.
Walton, S.M., Karwat, D.M., Wooldridge, M.S., et.al. (2011). Speciation studies of methyl butanoate ignition. Fuel. 90:1796-1804. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2011.01.028