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Plant Sciences Senior Symposium features record number of graduating seniors

-Magdalen Lindeberg

Does the rice blast fungus make proteins that suppress the host plant defense response? What does it take to keep Cornell Botanic Gardens beautiful and thriving? What progress has been made in development of disease resistant Impatiens? These are some of the many questions that Cornell seniors majoring in the Plant Sciences have investigated during research experiences and internships during their time at Cornell. On May 9 – 10, 29 seniors delivered 10 minute presentations on their experiences to an audience of students, staff, and faculty.

The talks provided an opportunity for students to demonstrate presentation skills learned in PLSCI 4950 “Senior Seminar in Plant Sciences”, the senior capstone class taught by Mike Scanlon and Chris Smart. Congratulations to all of our graduating Plant Sciences Majors!


  • Elizabeth De Meyer        Characterization of grain morphology loci in wheat
  • Simmone Landau            Pennsylvania grape growing
  • Sheng Qian                       Leveraging genetic interaction for adverse drug-drug interaction prediction
  • Sarah Marino                   Gardens internship at Ball Horticulture
  • Karen Luong                     Tackling the problematic rice blast, Magnaporthe oryzae
  • Margaret Lovier               A summer in the Cornell Botanic Gardens
  • Corrigan Herbert             The impact of shoot thinning on the timing of grape cluster closure in V. vinifera Riesling
  • Mowei Li                            Ectopic expression of DML2 for promoting ripening
  • Rachel Vanicek                 Peer mentoring in the Plant Sciences
  • Hannah Fuller                  Farmers’ decision-making and perceived benefits of OFSP adoption in Eastern Uttar Pradesh
  • Garrett Giles                     Dickeya and Pectobacterium screening and resistance
  • Zhejing Xu                         Polymorphism of Tasimelteon (TSM): the structure and it properties
  • Emily Follett                     Internship at Ricker Hill Orchards
  • George Stack                     Interacting over a lifetime: how insect ontogeny shapes plant-herbivore interaction
  • Mark Sabol                        Paying attention to the dTALEs
  • Mikaela Correia                Endobacteria in Mortierella
  • Jonathan Price                  Spuds roll: the Cornell potato breeding project
  • Yuqi Chen                           Bringing back a garden staple: Downy mildew resistance breeding in Impatiens walleriana
  • Kylee Farabaugh               Delayed emergence impact on corn ear formation issues
  • Xuying Zheng                    Predicting oat β-glucan content by near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Gabriel Green                    The effect of different nutrient solutions on hydroponic Dragoon lettuce
  • Tommi Schieder               Determinants of microbial composition in temperate forests
  • Matthew Tomaszewski    Cornell turfgrass program: Golf shoes and grass
  • Aliza Doyle                         Cornell Orchards internship experience: Summer 2017
  • Parker McPhee                  Practical applications of plant breeding techniques at Upstate New York Daylily Garden
  • Allora Atiyeh                       TBA
  • Dustin Smith                      Living mulch as a deterrent for invasive species
  • Roxana Padilla                   Horticulture internship at the San Antonio Zoo

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