- B.S. in Biology & B.A. in Music – Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL
- Co-enrolled M.S. in Environmental Horticulture and DPM
I’m a first generation Floridian; born and raised in Clearwater, FL. From early on in my childhood, I spent many weekends helping my grandmother tend to her garden and this, I believe, first sparked my fascination with plants. While pursuing my undergraduate education at Florida Southern College, I continued to nurture my love for plants by working in the greenhouse on campus and conducting research analyzing the phylogenetic relationship between ancient tea roses. From the greenhouse, I expanded my interests to large-scale agriculture and interned at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center in a Plant Pathology lab with Dr. Evan Johnson. It was here that I discovered my passion for plant pathology. In June 2016, I attended the annual American Phytopathological Society Meeting in Tampa, FL and learned about the Doctor of Plant Medicine Program. I instantly thought this degree would be a perfect fit since it provides a broad, interdisciplinary background for future “plant doctors” and will help prepare me for a career in industry or extension.
In addition to the DPM degree I am also pursuing a Master’s in Environmental Horticulture with Dr. John Peterson. We are working on a project testing different rates of plant growth regulators to keep plants small for use in miniature landscapes as part of the Chinese art form, Penjing.
“Pursue what you love and what fascinates you, and the rest will follow.”
– Mary Dell Chilton