I was born in the small beachside town of Fort Pierce, Florida. I received my B.S. in Molecular Biology from a state school in my hometown, Indian River State College.
During my time at IRSC I was able to gain agricultural research experience working at both IRSC and the USDA-ARS. At the USDA-ARS, under Dr. David Hall, I work with CLas+ Asian Citrus Psyllid, where I learned sampling, colony maintenance, bioassay setup, DNA extraction, and qPCR. At IRSC I worked as a lab assistant in the microbiology lab as well as did independent research. The independent research project was based around the discovery and characterization of novel Xanthomonas fragariae bacteriophages from infected strawberry plants.
After graduation from IRSC I pursued UF’s online M.S. in Microbiology and Cell Science program. During this time I worked at IRSC as a microbiology lab instructor. I did this for about two years and then decided I wanted to get back into the lab. This time I wanted to work in a core lab, with a broader range of instrumentation and workflows than I experienced in my undergrad. I chose the Gene Expression & Genotyping core at UF’s Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research in Gainesville. I worked for almost two years at ICBR before moving on to the DPM program as a full-time student.
I am excited and thankful to be a part of UF’s Doctor of Plant Medicine program.