Lab Members

Edger Lab
  • Staff

    Josh Moses


    Research Technician

    My work includes tissue culture, greenhouse management, field management, IPM strategies, fertility, irrigation, fertigation, propagation and breeding practices for Northern Highbush Blueberry and Strawberry. I also have expertise with Raspberry and Blackberry. Outside of work, I like to ride on the trails with my bike, enjoy the variety of outdoor seasonal Michigan activities, cooking and spending time in our berry patch and vegetable gardens with my kids eating or finding bugs.



    Alexys Kelsey


    Research Technician

    Alexys is a technician responsible for the growth and maintenance of various plant material for the lab. Her previous research expertise spans sustainable fruit and vegetables production. When she's not in the lab or out in the field, she enjoys spending time with her little brother and family in her hometown in Northern Michigan as well as kayaking, attending concerts, and gardening. 


    Adrian Platts 


    Adrian started out in the Physical Sciences, gaining a BSc in Physics (specializing in Computational Physics) from the University of Birmingham followed by postgraduate work in novel magnetic materials. In 2004 he switched to a bioscience career initially working on human regulatory elements before moving on to plant genetics at McGill and then New York Universities. He joined the Josephs lab and the Edger Lab in 2020 and balances a home life based in A2 with a work life based around MSU.

  • Graduate Students

    Elizabeth Alger

    PhD Candidate


    "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 Candidate



    "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."

    Alan Yocca

    PhD Candidate

    "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 wife, Jess, and dog, Brooks."

    Scott Teresi

    PhD Graduate Research Assistant



    "I am particularly interested in transposable elements (TEs) and their impact on genome evolution. Currently I am developing a bioinformatic tool to examine and quantify TE presence genome-wide relative to genes. I plan on using this tool, along with other data, to examine how different TE families affect nearby gene expression and metabolic network evolution. My work will largely utilize strawberry as a model system due to the vast TE content and genome size variation at the species level.

    I am also very interested in bioinformatic tools and software development. I like computers and software, outside of the lab I recently built my own desktop computer to use as a home entertainment center. Other than that I like to play water polo, run, and go to the gym to decompress."

    Claudia Miranda Cekalovic

    PhD Graduate Research Assistant 

    "My project is focused on developing molecular markers to improve salinity tolerance in cultivated strawberry. I will work with a segregating population for high salinity tolerance derived from a cross between a cultivar ‘Camarosa’ and a wild accession. Additionally, a mapping population from the top performing individuals will be developed. I am eager to start the project but due this global pandemic, I am delaying my starting date. Outside of the lab, I enjoy walking alongside Barrow River in Carlow, Ireland and swimming. On my artistic side, I love music, dancing and writing."

  • Undergraduate Students

    Maddie Berg

    Organic and Sustaibable Horticulture major.


    Sofia Fanelli

    Marketing major, Horticulture minor.


     Alder Fulton

    Physics major.


  • 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)