Audrey Klein was born and raised in Rochester, NY where she attended Aquinas Institute, graduating in 2012. From there, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology at The State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry (SUNY ESF). Throughout the degree program she began focusing on classes pertaining to plant science and began working at the United States Department of Agriculture during the summers. At the USDA, she worked as a Plant Protection Technician on the Plum Pox Virus eradication program within the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. It was at this position that Audrey was first introduced to field work and plant pathology. By graduation in 2016, Audrey had a few summers of field work experience and a solid knowledge background in the foundations of plant science.
Audrey then worked at Dickman Farms Greenhouse & Garden Center in Auburn, NY where she worked primarily in the Nursery and Perennial departments. This provided a glimpse into the retail and wholesale horticulture side of plant production. Shortly after that, she was offered a position as a Field Technician working with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Cornell Vegetable Program. At this position she worked closely with Christy Hoepting, a Senior Extension Associate on a variety of vegetable crops with a particular focus on onion production in New York. The experience working in agricultural systems, primarily on grower farms that this positon provided, led her on a path to plant pathology.
Audrey is currently working as a technician in the EVADE Lab working alongside Dr. Frank Hay and Dr. Sarah Pethybridge in Plant Pathology. A large portion of her time at Cornell AgriTech is spent working on onion and garlic pathogens with Dr. Hay; as well as expanding into new crops and pathosystems including beets, beans, and more with Dr. Pethybridge! This position has allowed her to further her field work experience and has also allowed her the chance to learn a multitude of lab skills and techniques. She aspires to continue to work and learn within the field of plant pathology.