Research Q & A
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on analyzing chromosome evolution and evaluating the genetic diversity within Drosera. Much of this is done on the computer although I also work in a wet lab to extract genetic material from leaves.
How did you get started/what drew you to your area of study?
In middle school, I started identifying wildflowers in my backyard. I was captivated by the diversity of plants and beauty of even very small plants and flowers. It all started by observing what was right around me.
Where are you working on research/field work?
The fieldwork is to happen in Australia and then the analysis is to happen at the University of Minnesota in collaboration with Australian colleagues.
How are you working toward that goal?
Many of the species occur in Australia, so COVID-19 has really limited my fieldwork. Some of the fieldwork is being done by collaborators in Australia. Until I have a chance to return, I am analyzing the data that I had pre-COVID and learning, practicing, developing and improving tools to study their evolution and chromosomes.
What will your next steps/research be?
My next step for my research is to analyze the data and publish it. Career wise, my next step will probably be a post-doctoral researcher before pursuing an academic or research position.
2019 field work in Minnesota. Photo Credit: Dr. Ya Yang
A pygmy sundew (Drosera spilos) growing in sand and pebbles in Western Australia.