Lab Members

  • Staff

    Josh Moses


    Field and Greenhouse Technician


  • Graduate Students


    Elizabeth Alger

    PhD Graduate Research Assistant


    "My research primarily focuses on phylogenetic analysis of the Fragaria genus with an emphasis on subgenome dominance. I will utilize the genomic resources available strawberry, including the new high-quality genome assemblies for diploid (Fragaria vesca) and octoploid (Fragaria × ananassa), to explore the evolution of subgenome dominance in the genus. Specifically, I will parse out which subgenomes in octoploid strawberry have the greatest effect on stress response. My research will help develop a better understanding of strawberry as a crop, but will also lead to novel insights about plant polyploid evolution in general. 

    Outside of the lab I spend most of my time outdoors with my two dogs or exploring my artistic side through (poorly) writing or drawing."



    Kevin Bird

    PhD Graduate Research Assistant




    "I'm a PhD student in the Horticulture department and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior graduate program in the Edger and Van Buren labs. I'm interested in the evolutionary impact of genome structural variation, particularly gene and whole genome duplication. I use a combination of natural and synthetic polyploids, experimental evolution, and systems biology to characterize the neutral and adaptive forces that maintain duplicate gen(om)es and the mechanisms that create novel traits from duplicates. I'm also interested in broad evolutionary phenomena like convergent evolution and phenotypic/genomic plasticity. Outside the lab, I'm passionate about science communication and drawing on my background in philosophy and improvisational comedy to  better communicate to broad audiences."



    Scott Teresi

    PhD Graduate Research Assistant




    Alan Yocca

    PhD Graduate Research Assistant


    "I am broadly interested in plant regulatory evolution. To this end, I plan to utilize bioinformatic tools to resolve the dynamics of plant Conserved Non-coding Sequences (CNSs). Advances in sequencing technology allow for both intra- and inter-specific comparisons at higher resolutions than ever before. Studying these CNSs may reveal potential short-term adaptive mechanisms as well as early steps of creating genetic novelty. Outside of the lab, I enjoy running and playing ultimate frisbee. At home, I am lucky to have the company of my fiance, Jess, and dog, Brooks."

  • Undergraduate Students

    Krista Dunger


    Krista Dunger

    BS, Genomics and Molecular Genetics

    "I am interested in genetic variation and heredity in plants and humans. Also interested in Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) regarding blueberry pest resilience. In my time off I enjoy hiking, video games, and reading books."




    Nate Seese

    Crop and Soil Sciences

    “My research interests include yield increase in fruit to increase land use efficiency, I also would like to do research focused on reduction of pesticides by conventional breeding for resistances. Outside of work my main hobbies consist of cooking, playing video games, and I play a lot of Pokemon Go! I love walking through the gardens behind Plant and Soil Scienses to catch pokemon and smell the flowers. ”




  • Former Lab Members

    Farooq Awais - Visiting Scholar (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan)

    Shelby Ayotte - Undergraduate Student, Horticulture (MSU)

    Pete Callow - Technician (MSU)

    Marivi Colle - Postdoc (MSU)
    Waqas Gillani - Visiting Scholar (NIAB, Faisalabad, Pakistan)

    Cara Goch - Undergraduate Student, Agribusiness Management (MSU)

    Parker Graham - Visiting student (MSU High School Honors Science Program)

    Heather Kingsbury - Greenhouse technician (MSU)

    Noshi Parveen - Visiting Scholar (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan)

    Emily Pawa - Masters Student, Agronomy and Crop Science (MSU)

    Selena Perez - Undergraduate Student, Zoology (MSU)

    Manav Rathod - Visiting Student (MSU High School Honors Science Program)

    Andy Sheufelt - Field Technician (MSU)

    James Stewart - Visiting Student (MSU Plant Genomics REU Program)

    Rachael Wolf - Visiting Student (MSU Plant Genomics REU Program)

    Ashley Wright - Undergraduate Student, Plant Biology (MSU)

    Zhiyong Xiong - Visiting Researcher (Inner Mongolia University)

    Anna Xu - Visiting Student (MSU High School Honors Science Program)