American Society of Plant Biologists 2016 summer undergraduate research fellows (SURF)

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The ASPB SURF program funds undergraduate students to conduct 10 consecutive weeks of plant biology research with a mentor during the early part of their college career. SURF recipients have high academic achievement, strong motivation and skills for conducting research, and career objectives showing interest in or close relevancy to plant biology. Reviewers also consider the contribution of the project to the mentor's research program, institutional commitment to the proposed research, and the mentor's commitment to undergraduate research. Awards reflect the ratio of applicants from primarily undergraduate versus doctoral granting institutions.

Congratulations to these SURF Fellows and their mentors:

SURFers from Primarily Undergraduate Institutions

Meghan Bacher, University of Puget Sound

  • Investigating the FBS1 and 14-3-3 interaction with BiFC
  • Mentor: Bryan Thines, Assistant Professor, Biology Department, University of Puget Sound

Geneva Lee, Mills College

  • Consequences of varying levels of genetic diversity and subpopulation isolation on population growth and persistence in Streptanthus glandulosus nige (Brassicaceae)
  • Mentor: Sarah Swope, PhD Assistant Professor in the Mills College Biology Dept.

Davon Whitest, Rochester Institute of Technology

  • The Synthesis and Phenotypic Characterization of 2-Halo-1-Aminocyclopropane Carboxylic Acid Derivatives in Arabidopsis Thaliana: Potential Radiotracer Imaging Agents
  • Mentor: Michael G. Coleman, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

SURFers from Doctoral Granting Institutions

Cairo Archer, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research

  • Functional analysis of the terpene synthase TPS2 in maize-aphid interactions
  • Mentor: Georg Jander, Professor

Julia Brose, University of Missouri-Columbia

  • Discovery of Indole Phytoalexins in Roots of Crop Brassicas
  • Mentor: Elizabeth Sattely, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University

Snigdha Chatterjee, Syracuse University

  • DDR1, an Arabidopsis Histone Demethylase Negatively Regulates Cell Death, Drought, and Defense Against Pseudomonas syringae
  • Mentor: Ramesh Raina, Chair, Department of Biology

Alexander Clarke, University of Missouri

  • Defining clathrin-dependent protein networks using an ENTH-vesicle adaptor
  • Mentor: Antje Heese, Associate Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia, Division of Biochemistry

Cole Folstad, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

  • Engineering a New Bio-Fuel Feedstock: Domesticating Pennycress
  • Mentor: M. David Marks, Principle Investigator

Erin Hartzell, West Virginia University

  • Genetic Analyses of Subcellular Metabolic Crosstalk in the Plant Terpenoid Biosynthetic Network
  • Mentor: Michael Gutensohn, Division of Plant and Soil Sciences

Johanna L'Heureux, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

  • Determining the mode of action of a novel antimicrobial peptide from legumes
  • Mentor: Dong Wang, Assistant Professor

Helen Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

  • Silencing of XRCC4 Using VIGS for T-DNA Insertion by Homologous Recombination Facilitated by CRISPR/CAS9 Genome Editing System
  • Mentor: Donald R. Ort, Robert Emerson Professor in Plant Biology and Crop Sciences

Iris Mollhoff, University of California-Davis

  • Structural-Functional Analysis of Plant Diterpene Metabolism
  • Mentor: Philipp Zerbe, Assistant Professor of Plant Biology

Jeremy Pardo, Cornell University

  • Genetic Basis of Stomatal Conductance under Water Stress in a Portion of the Maize Nested Association Mapping Population
  • Mentor: Taryn Bauerle, Associate Professor

Amanda Shurzinske, Ball State University

  • Changes in Gene Expression Mediate Auxin Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Mentor: Bethany Zolman, Associate Professor of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Anna Tsui, North Carolina State University

  • Uncoupling the roles of auxin and ethylene in cotyledon and leaf epinasty
  • Mentor: Anna Stepanova, Assistant Professor of Plant Biology and Genetics

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