Other Students Advised by CSS Faculty

Cornelius Adewale

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Environmental Science
Advisor: Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs


Scott Carle

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Kimberly Campbell

I am working with Dr. Kimberly Campbell and Dr. Daniel Z Skinner on further identifying and characterizing the genes and functional mechanisms responsible for conveying cold tolerance in winter wheat. It is my hope that this research will make useful contributions to both the scientific community and to agricultural production.

Education Background:  B.S. (Biotechnology) – University of Florida


Nathan Grant

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Kulvinder Gill

I am a MPS student working in Dr. Kulvinder Gill’s research lab as a research assistant. My current research project is working with heat stressed wheat by measuring/studying photosynthesis. Currently, I am finishing a project that involves mapping an Rht gene. I graduated from WSU in 2012 with my degree in agricultural biotechnology. GO COUGS!

Leland Michael Lege

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs


Aaron Mahoney

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Scot Hulbert

In the fall of 2012, I joined Drs. Scot Hulbert’s and Pat Okubara’s (USDA) labs to work on identifying the genetic mechanisms to Rhizoctonia spp. resistance in synthetic wheat accessions. I hope to better understand the interplay between the pathogen and its host through molecular and phenotypic analysis. The ultimate goal of my PhD work will be to provide information about this interaction and eventually provide the wheat breeders a tool to allow future varieties to have resistance to Rhizoctonia pathogens.

Education Background:M.S. – Western Washington University

Shantel Martinez

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Camille Steber

In the Fall of 2011, I started my masters research in the Steber lab and I was also closely co-advised by Kimberly Garland Campbell. I began my MPS Ph.D. work in the Spring of 2013 with Dr. Steber and Dr. Garland Campbell. My research project is to identify novel loci contributing to PHS (preharvest sprouting) and drought tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) with an emphasis on the role of the plant hormone ABA (abscisic acid) in controlling these processes. The goal of this research is to improve PHS and drought tolerance in Washington wheat using both ABA mutants and the existing variation for these traits through three different approaches: 1) identify loci providing PHS tolerance in northwest germplasm by association mapping, 2) map the ERA8 locus that causes the ABA hypersensitive seed germination and PHS tolerance phenotypes of soft white spring Zak ERA8 wheat, and 3) examine whether higher ABA sensitivity and water use efficiency can be used to improve wheat drought tolerance.


Scott Minckler

Degree sought: M.S. in Agriculture
Advisor: Dr. John Reganold

While growing up in Montana, I spent much time on family members’ farms, developing an interest in the land. My career path took me into healthcare as a physical therapist, but lately I realized that I am drawn toward sustainable agriculture. I feel that I can broaden my impact on societal health by returning to graduate school to pursue studies and research in sustainable agriculture, which I feel is crucial to the health and balance of our ecosphere.

My research relates to improving agroecological design through utilization of the permaculture concept. My project will design a permaculture plot located on the new WSU Eggert Family Organic Farm. My thesis will assert that a farming system that incorporates the permaculture concepts of natural biological cycles and local ecology can be an improvement over conventional designs. For agriculture, the implications of a system that reduces human-made inputs and enhances sustainability, productivity and ecological compatibility are potentially very great. I believe that permaculture systems have an important future role in maintaining the viability and health of our agriculture.

Education Background:B.S. (Biology) – WSU


Ragupathi Nagarajan

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Kulvinder Gill

My research project is to develop insertional mutagenesis system using active maize transposable elements in wheat. Before joining MPS program, I worked as a Research Associate in a Washington Grain Commission funded project to develop wheat transgenics for functional studies. Besides my research, I am interested in photography, movies and traveling.

Gagonjot Sidhu

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Kulvinder Gill