For my dissertation work at The Ohio State University, I studied the development of specialized cells in the leaf. These special cells are called stomata and are essential for plant productivity. I analyzed the developmental events that contribute to the formation of stomata using genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology.
One of my most exciting research findings was the discovery of an unrecognized polarity in cell divisions in the leaf epidermis.
I became interested in stomata as an undergraduate at Southern Illinois University. At SIU, I investigated the anatomy and ultrastructure of stomata in hornworts (a small, basal land plant group). My experiences at SIU have greatly contributed to my decision to pursue a faculty position that emphasizes undergraduate teaching and research.