My research interests includes understanding how plants defend themselves against insect pests and pathogens, including viruses. I have worked on many model plant systems such as Arabidopsis, soybeans, switchgrass, and sorghum to identify key genes that are necessary for resistance against biotic stresses. My recent work has focused on understanding the defense response of susceptible and resistant switchgrass genotypes against greenbug aphids infestations. I have also been using bioinformatic analysis to understanding gender development in buffalograss, a common turf grass, that is a dioecious species.
I will continue this research at West Chester University using both switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) as model systems. I am very excited about teaching Genetics and DNA Recombinant Technology classes and working with students to develop independent research projects.