I graduated from Oregon State University in Corvallis Oregon in Spring 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Botany. During my time at OSU I researched in the Mockler Lab were I worked extensively with Brachypodium distachyon. Also at OSU, I was part of a research team that surveyed, sequenced, and chemotyped rare arctic lichens in Washington State and volunteered extensively for the Institute of Applied Ecology. While volunteering for the IAE, I was studying environmental systems affected by invasive species that out competed sensitive and endangered species of endemic plants in rare Oregon Savannah grasslands in the Willamette Valley.
I use the model organism Brachypodium distachyon species complex to study the genetics, introduction process, and climate association of non-native plants, specifically grasses. Currently the Borevitz lab is organizing a collection nearing 2,722 accessions of Brachypodium for GWAS and haplotyping experiments. I’m using reduced complexity next generation sequencing via genotyping by sequencing (GBS) 5x+ coverage at restriction site specific loci. We are sequencing any collection of Brachypodium distachyon complex species accessions for free to those who have samples they want sequenced. Contact the Borevitz Lab if you have questions or have an accession you are interested in having sequenced. Currently they have approximately ≈500+ lines of true B. distachyon, 1,000+ accessions of B. hybridum, and nearly 50 B. stacei. This collection spans many geographic regions: Northern Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.
While I’m studying at ANU my research focuses on addressing these questions, (i) What makes a plant species widely adaptable genetically, and by association to what environment types? (ii) What is the genetic variations of Brachypodium distachyon complex species? (iii) What are the most and least wide-spread genetic groups and is this associated with ploidy level? With this information can we better predict, detect, and control invasive plants? Though my thesis isn’t directly targeted at studying invasive species as a whole, it is a stepping stone in understanding wide adaptability and plasticity in climate preferrence at a genotype level. In future studies the assessment of adaptability and invasive traits can be performed in controlled conditions with model organisms. Approaches can then be transferred to non-model organisms. New collections from field locations could be used to test hypothesis of invasiveness. The main problems with invasive plants that I hope to address are (i); flowering time and seed production (ii); thriving in a wide climate range (iii); rapid colonization of distributed habitats; (iv) and long range migration, (v) effects of polyploidy in range expansion and sub-genome/haplotype combinations. Ultimately I hope to extend my findings to the larger landscape and limit the adverse effects of invasive species.
Office: +61 (0) 2 6197 0053
Links to websites
My research website has data frames, R and Python scripts and programs that I use for my research and could be helpful for other research questions. I’m approaching an intermediate level of knowledge with bioinformatic tools. My website also has information about previous talks, power points, and posters.
My GitHub site with some of my scripts, also found on my website.
My twitter feed has articles about science and science related news. (usually)