Alumni News

Dr. Martin Chilvers’ Graduates
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Dr. Xiofeng Zhuan, 2010-2013 Postdoc from Dr. Martin Chilvers’ lab is currently a Postdoc with Katrina Cornish at Ohio State University.

Dr. Patricia Santos2013-2014 Postdoc from Dr. Chilvers’ lab is currently an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Nevada Reno.

Dr. Mamadou Fall, 2015-2016 Postdoc from Dr. Martin Chilvers’ lab is currently a Research Scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Devon Rossman, 2016 M.S. graduate from Dr. Martin Chilvers’ lab is currently preparing to work in South Asia in an economic development project.

Dr. Alejandro Rojas, 2016 Ph.D. from Dr. Martin Chilvers’ lab is currently a Postdoc in Rytas Vilgalys’ lab at Duke University.

Dr. Jie Wang, 2016 Ph.D. from Dr. Chilvers’ lab. Cureently a Postdoc in Kevin Childs’ lab at Michigan State University, working in the Center for Genomics-Enabled Plant Science.

 

Dr. Copeland’s Graduates

Dr. Marcelo Queijo, a 2007 Ph.D. graduate from the  Copeland Lab, is currently the North America Central Corn Breeding Leader at Dow AgroSciences, he is also on the board of directors for the National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders.

 

Dr. Brad Day’s Graduates

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Dr. Katie Porter, 2014 Ph.D. graduate from Dr. Brad Day’s lab is currently a Postdoc at Michigan State University working with Dr. Kathy Osteryoung.

Dr. Alyssa Burkhardt, 2015 Ph.D. graduate from Dr. Brad Day’s lab is currently working at USDA-ARS in Salinas, CA.

 

Dr. Linda Hanson’s Graduates
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Qianwei (Jane) Jiang, 2016 M.S. from Dr. Linda Hanson’s lab is currently a Research Associate in Research and Development with Monsanto in Woodland, CA.

 

Dr. Hao’s Graduates

Wenting (Wendy) Zheng, An M.S. graduate from Dr. Hao’s Lab is a Research Scientist in research and development with Chiquita / Fresh Express in San Francisco, California.

 

Dr. Mary Hausbeck’s Graduates
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Dr. Amanda Gevens, a Ph.D. graduate from the Hausbeck Lab, is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in the Department of Plant Pathology.  She also edits the Badger Beat Feature Column in the Badger Common’ Tater Potato Industry Magazine. 

Dr. Julianna K. Wilson (Tuell), a 2003 M.S. graduate from the Hausbeck Lab completed her Ph.D. in Entomology and the Program in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (2007).  She currently works as a Michigan State University Extension Specialist specializing in tree fruit integrated pest management.

Dr. Leah Granke, a 2003 Ph.D. graduate from the Hausbeck Lab, is currently employed with Dow Agrosciences as a Research and Development Scientist. 

Dr. Shaunta Hill, a 2009 Ph.D. graduate from the Hausbeck Lab, is employed with the Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  

Dr. Lina Quesada-Ocampo,  a 2010 Ph.D. graduate from the Hausbeck Lab is an Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. 

 

Dr. James Kelly’s Graduates
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Major Professor for M.S. degree students in Plant Breeding and Genetics (PBG):

James A. Heilig. (USA). Graduated in PBG in 2010. Thesis topic: Evaluation of dry bean genotypes for performance under organic production systems. Current occupation: Continuing on doctoral degree in bean breeding and genetics at MSU.

Amy L. Lasley. (USA). Graduated in PBGB in 2012. Thesis topic: Evaluation of root traits associated with drought tolerance in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Current occupation: job search in private plant breeding

Grady Zuiderveen (USA). Graduated in PBGB in 2015. Thesis topic: The genetics of anthracnose resistance in common bean. Current occupation: Doctoral student at Penn State.

Timothy Nakedde (Uganda). Graduated in PBGB in 2015. Thesis topic: Identification and mapping of QTL associated with Fusarium root rot resistance and root architecture traits in black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Current occupation: Technician genome center Univ of Michigan.

Major Professor for Ph.D. degree students in Plant Breeding and Genetics (PBG):

Kingdom M. Kwapata (Malawi). Graduated in PBG in 2010. Thesis topic: System Development for In Vitro Regeneration and Gene Delivery into Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Current occupation: Lecturer Bunda College, Lilongwe, Malawi.

Gerardine Mukeshimana, (Rwanda) Graduated in PBGB in 2012. Thesis topic: Dissecting the genetic complexity of drought tolerance mechanisms in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Current occupation: Minister of Agriculture in Rwanda.

Elizabeth I. Brisco (Canada). Graduated in PBGB in 2012. Thesis topic: Empoasca leafhopper species resistance in common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris: field screening and QTL identification. Current occupation: Research Associate Plant Pathology at MSU

Wezi Mkwaila (Malawi). Graduated in PBGB in 2013. Thesis topic: Identification of quantitative trait loci for white mold resistance in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Current occupation: Lecture in Bunda College Malawi

James Heilig (USA). Graduated in PBGB in 2015. QTL mapping of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in dry bean; Dry bean performance under organic production systems. Current occupation: job hunting

Valerio Hoyos (Colombia). Graduated in PBGB in 2015. Thesis topic: Identification of genomic regions and development of breeding resources associated with drought tolerance in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Current occupation; Forage breeder, Ag Research New Zealand

Kelvin Kamfwa (Zambia). Graduated in PBGB in 2015. Thesis topic: Understanding the genetic basis of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris l.) using genomic and transcriptomic analyses. Current occupation; Assistant Professor at University of Zambia, Lusaka

 

Dr. Willie Kirk’s Graduates
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Dr. Jeff Stein, A 2002 PhD graduate from Dr. Willie KirkĀ’‘s lab is a Plant Pathology Lead in the Chemistry Division at Monsanto Corporation based in St. Louis, MO.

Dr. Mitch McGrath’s Graduates
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Dr. Daniele Trebbi, 2005 Ph.D. from Dr. Mitch McGrath’s lab. She is currently a Seed Production and Technologist Scientist at Syngenta, Woodland, CA.

Dr. Rachel Naegele, 2010 M.S. from Dr. Mitch McGrath’s lab. After receiving her Ph.D. in 2013, she is currently working as a USDA-ARS Research Geneticist in Parlier, CA.

 

Dr. Emily Merewitz’s Graduates
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Kevin Laskowski, 2016 M.S. graduate from Dr. Emily Merewitz’s lab. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University.

Sha Liu (Chris), 2016 M.S. graduate from Dr. Emily Merewitz’s lab is currently working as a research assistant in Dr. Merewitz’s lab. She has been actively seeking advanced posiions in industry and academia.

Dr. Yingmei Ma, 2017 Ph.D. graduate from Dr. Emily Merewitz’s lab is currently a faculty member at the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University in China.

 

Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s Graduates
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Pouyan Hatami Bahman Beiglou, M.S. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab. Currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences at Michigan State University.

Maria Melissa Rojas-Downing, 2013 M.S. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University.

Dr. Subhasis Giri, 2013 Ph.D. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab is currently a Postdoc Research Associate at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University.

Shuai Zhang, 2013 M.S. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab is currently a graduate student at Master of Business Administration program at University of the West.

Matthew Herman, 2014 M.S. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University.

Dr. Edwin Martinez-Martinez, 2014 Ph.D. graduate, Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences from Dr. A. Poutan Nejadhashemi’s lab is currently a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative coordinator at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agency.

Georgina Sanchez, 2014 M.S. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab is currently a Ph.D. student in the Center for Geospatial Analytics Engineering and the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Yaseen Hamaamin, 2014 Ph.D. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab is currently a Faculty Member at the College of Engineering at University of Sulaimani.

Dr. Elaheh Esfahanian, 2016 Ph.D. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab. Currently a Project Engineer at Consumers Energy.

Dr. Sean Woznicki, 2015 Ph.D. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab is currently an Environmental Engineer at the EPA National Exposure Research Laboratory.

Valerie Novaes, 2015 M.S. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab is currently a Water Resources Engineer at Tetra Tech.

Dr. Elaheh Esfahanian, 2016 Ph.D. graduate, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from Dr. A. Pouyan Nejadhashemi’s lab. Currently a Project Engineer at Consumers Energy.

Dr. Annemiek Shilder’s Graduates
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Laura Avila Miles, a 2011 M.S. graduate from Dr. Schilder’s Lab is a Plant Pathologist at Eurofins Plant Health Services in Gilroy, California. 

Jessie Sadowsky,  a 2011 M.S. graduate from Dr. Schilder’s Lab is working towards his PhD in Dr. Serita Frey’s lab at the University of New Hamshire.  His dissertation research will focus on how fungal communities influence organic matter transformations and storage in chronic nitrogen-enriched, soil carbon-aggrading temperate forests.

Dr. Timothy Miles, a 2012 PhD graduate from Dr. Schilder’s Lab is a Plant Pathologist (Postdoctoral Researcher) at USDA-ARS in Salinas, California.

 

Dr. Sieg Snapp’s Graduates
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Dr. Nikhil Jaikumar, 2013 Ph.D. graduate from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab is currently a post doctoral scholar at University of Illinois.

Dan Kane, 2013 M.S. graduate from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab, is currently a Ph.D. student at Yale University.

Dr. Krista Isaacs, 2014 Ph.D. graduate from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab, is currently a fixed term faculty member at Michigan State University’s Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences.

Sowmya Surapur, 2014 M.S. graduate from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab, is currently working in a private industry.

Alex Smith, 2014 M.S. graduate from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab is currently working as a farmer.

Dr. Regis Chikowo, 2012-2015 Postdoc from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab is currently an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University’s Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences.

Dr. Paul Roge, 2015-16 Postdoc from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab is currently MESA and University of California Berkeley.

Dr. Placid Mpeketula, 2016 Ph.D. graduate from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab, is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Malawi.

Princess Adejei-Frimpong, is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab focusing on Crop and Soil Sciences.

Chiwimbo Gwenambira, is currently working towards Ph.D. in Dri. Sieg Snapp’s lab focusing on Crop and Soil Sciences.

Dr. Phil Grabwoski, is currently Postdoc from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab focusing on Crop and Soil Sciences.

Alison Nord, is currently working toward Ph.D. from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab focusing on Crop and Soil Sciences.

Dr. Vimbayi Chimonyo, is a current Postdoc from Dr. Sieg Snapp’s lab with a focus on Crop and Soil Sciences.

Dr. Kurt Steinke’s Graduates
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Dr. Laura Lindsey, 2012 Ph.D. graduate from Dr. Steinke’s lab, is currently a faculty member at Ohio State University in soybean and small grains production.

Luke Thurgood, 2014 M.S. graduate from Dr. Steinke’s lab, is currently an associate field agronomist for J.R. Simplot Co. in Idaho.

Chris Bauer, 2016 M.S. graduate from Dr. Steinke’s lab, is currently a sourcing specialist with Nestle North America Procurement/Gerber Products Company in Fremont, MI.

Michael Swoish, 2016 M.S. graduate from Dr. Steinke’s lab, is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech.

 

Dr. George Sundin’s Graduates
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Dr. Ryan McNally, a PhD graduate from the Tree Fruit Pathology Lab  (Dr. George Sundin), is a postdoc Goss’s Wilt of Corn  (Clavibacter michiganensis) at the University of Minnesota in Carol Ishimaru’s and Dean Malvick’s lab.  

Lisa Renick an M.S. graduate who studied microbiology and molecular genetics under Dr. George Sundin, was promoted to Supervisory Investigator with the Detroit District of the U.S. Food and Drug administration.

Dr. Jessica Koczan, a PhD graduate from the Sundin lab, studying Plant Microbe Interactions, currently works at SEPRO as a postdoctoral research associate.

Dr. Megan Kennelly, a postdoc from George Sundin’s Lab, is an Associate Professor at Kansas State University, with responsibilities as the extension horticultural plant pathology and turf specialist for the state of Kansas.   

Dr. Lindsay Triplett, a PhD graduate from the Sundin lab, is now a Post Doctoral Fellow at Colorado State University in the Jan E. Leach Lab.  Lindsay was recently awarded a USDA-NIFA project titled “Plant-Based Detection of Food Safety Pathogens”, this project that will adapt receptors to detect species-specific pheromone molecules produced by human pathogens which are contaminants of fresh produce.

Dr. Youfu Zhao, a Postdoc in George Sundin’s Lab, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois.  Dr. Zhao’s appointment focuses on research and teaching, and his research emphasis is host-pathogen interactions involving bacterial pathogens.

Erin Lizotte, an M.S. graduate who studied tree fruit pathology in the Sundin lab, is an Integrated Pest Management Educator with MSU Extension in the Cadillac, MI area.

Dr. Sara Blumer-Schuette, a Ph.D. graduate from the Sundin lab, studying Plant Microbe Interactions is currently a postdoctoral research associate at North Carolina State University studying biofuel production by thermophilic bacteria.

Dr. Molly McGrath, a postdoc from George Sundin’s Lab, is a Technology Development Scientist at Monsanto Corporation based in St. Louis, MO.

Dr. Zhonghua Ma, a postdoc from George Sundin’s Lab, is a Professor in the Biotechnology Institute at Zehjiang University in Hangzhou, China.

Dr. Mike Weigand, a Ph.D. graduate from the Sundin Lab studying microbial evolution, is a postdoctoral research associate at Georgia Tech University studying bacterial genomics.

Matt Berry, an M.S. graduate from the Sundin Lab, is currently a PhD student in the Department of Plant Biology at MSU.  

 

Dr. Joe Vargas’ Graduates
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Dr. Phil DwyerA PhD graduate from Dr. Joe Vargas’ lab is a Turfgrass Scientist at Scotts MiracleGro, who writes a turfgrass column in the Green section of the Huffington Post.

Dr. Paul R. Giordano, a 2013 PhD graduate from Dr. Joe Vargas’ Lab is a Technical Services Representative - Bayer CropScience in Guelph, Ontario Canada.

 

Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Ph.D. Graduates

Dr. Joe M. Tohme, PhD, Crop Sciences is a Geneticist with CIAT and Adjunct Professor with Kansas State University. 

Dr. Patricia McManusPhD, Plant Pathology is Professor with the Dept. of Plant Pathology at University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

Frank Louws, PhD Plant Pathology  Director - NSF Center for Integrated Pest Management and Professor for Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University. 

Dr. Ben Hamza, PhD graduate,  is director of technical operations at TruGreen. He develops innovative and responsible agronomic/horticultural programs through collaborations across the United States and Canada. Hamza also manages product and fleet assets, as well as federal and state regulatory and safety compliance.

 

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