Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics PhD
I finished my undergraduate at UC Davis, finished my master’s at UW-Madison with Dr. Jeffrey Endelman.
What is your research about and what is the impact? How does it relate to the horticulture industry, what is the goal?
My research is focusing on diploid potato breeding. With the availability of hybrid diploid varieties, seed industry or growers could plant true potato seeds (TPS) instead of tissue culture plants to generate mini-tubers in the greenhouse. With TPS, the multiplication rate is greater, the expenses for seed storage, tissue culture, and transportation are less, and the accumulation of pathogens is fewer. In addition, it will be easier for the breeders to manipulate the genome and incorporate new traits into the existing cultivars.
Why did you choose UW-Madison? What is your favorite part of Madison?
I chose UW-Madison because the potato breeding program here. My favorite part of Madison would be the ice cream (if this counts). The best ice cream place is at Babcock store next to the Horticulture building.
What was the path you took to work in plant sciences? And then what advice would you give to your younger self to get into the field/career you are in today?
I knew I would study in plant sciences since I was in middle school. I was told to pick up the potatoes into crates after the harvester the first year my mom ran the seed potato production company. It just inspired me that I love the feeling in the field and got to know more of the plants. Then I decided to go UC Davis for plant sciences major. In my fourth year of college, I was in my first plant breeding class. I learned many techniques about plant breeding which interested me the most. So I decided to be a breeder in the future.
I would tell my younger self to take more programing and statistic class! Data analysis is super important for research.