College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences

Graduate Students


Cornelius Adewale

Degree sought: Ms in Soil Science

Esraa Alalwan

Degree sought: PhD Crop Science

Khalid Almesfer

Degree sought: PhD Soil Science


Attawan Aramrak

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science


My research is focused on the characterization of glyphosate-resistant mechanisms in spring wheat cultivars.Education Background: M.S. (Biochemistry), Kasetsart University, ThailandB.S. (Agricultural Chemistry) with 2nd Class Honor – Kasetsart University, Thailand.

Novi Astutiningsih

Degree Sought: PhD in Crop Science

I was born and raised in Jambi, a city in Sumatera Island, Indonesia. Born in a family full of teachers, I have always been focus on and interested in academic life. Looking for a colder place to study, I completed my undergraduate studies in Biology at Bandung Institute of Technology, minoring in plant tissue culture and propagation. While I was working with the propagation of prospective energy plants, I realized that exploring the world would be my next goal. In 2008, I received a scholarship from International Master on Horticultural Science, a Master degree held in three European universities: University of Bologna, Technical University of Munich, and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. While enjoying the beauty of European cities, I worked on my thesis about intravineyard variation profiling using plant photosynthetic activity. I am currently interested to integrate remote sensing to describe plant phenotype on field scale (field phenomics) using its physiological activities.Education Background: B.S (Biology) - Institut Teknologi Bandung, IndonesiaM.S. (Horticultural Sciences) – Erasmus Mundus

Jeffrey D. Boehm Jr.

Degree Sought: PhD


I was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN, and graduated from The Baylor School in 1991. I attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 1996 with a BA in English. While at Georgia, I captained the UGA Ultimate Frisbee Club Team and qualified for four consecutive UPA Collegiate National Championships. My love of nature, plants and horticulture drew me back to school, and in 2014 I graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Master’s degree in Plant Science. My research focus at Tennessee was Plant Breeding (Soybean) and my Master’s research was specifically focused on lowering seed phytate levels without sacrificing yield. I’m ecstatic to be a new Ph.D. student at WSU beginning this Fall (2014), and I’m currently working on the Soft Durum project in the Western Wheat Quality Lab under Dr. Craig Morris.My interests include hiking, birding, cooking, gardening, sports, landscape design and the outdoors.Educational background: BA (1996) University of Georgia, MS (2014) University of Tennessee


Benjamin Brimlow

Degree Sought: MS Crop Science

Brook Brouwer

Degree sought: PhD Crop Science

I grew up on a small sheep farm on Lopez Island, WA. I have worked as a farm hand on Lopez Island raising cattle, hogs, goats and poultry. My past research experience includes conducting botanical surveys, investigating riparian nitrogen dynamics, and the traditional ecological management of Camas Lilies. Fascinated by the question of how to maintain productive farms and functioning ecosystems, I began my Ph.D. research in January 2012 on low-input grain crop systems for mid- to small-scale farms.Education Background: B.A. (Biology) – Colorado College

Emily Bruner

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

I was born and raised in Louisville, KY. After spending some time traveling the country and backpacking with my dogs, I returned to my hometown  to finish my undergraduate degree at the age of 24. I recently transferred to the CSS Department from the BsysE Department. I am currently involved in a larger project investigating site specific nutrient management in Palouse farm fields. Specifically, my work will focus on nitrogen transformations and increasing N use efficiency at the field scale in hopes to  expand on those findings to offer regional management improvement strategies.Education Background:B.S. (Conservation & Natural Resource Management) – University of Kentucky

 Scott Carle

Degree Sought: PhD inMolecular Plant Sciences

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

Brady Carter

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

I am a Lead Research Scientist at Decagon Devices, Inc. I provide scientific, application, and technical support to customers, and in addition, oversee product/technology development and testing in the area of complete moisture analysis.  Prior to my work at Decagon, I was an Assistant Professor/Scientist at Washington State University in Wheat Quality Research. My wife Shari and I have 5 children: Joshua 14, Jacen 11, Jairden 8, Alexa 1, and Bethany 1.Education Background:B.S. (Botany & Chemistry) – Weber State Univ.M.S. (Cereal Chemistry) – WSU

Maninder Chahal

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

I was born in Ferozepur (Punjab) in North India. The youngest of three children, I spent most of my life in Ferozepur. I joined Washington State University in August 2010 as a PhD graduate student. My research focuses on the transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in unsaturated porous media.Education Background: After my intermediates, I started my bachelor’s degree at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana in 2004 and completed in 2008. I completed my master’s program in the Department of Soil and Water Science under the supervision of Dr. Gurpal Toor at University of Florida, Gainesville.


Colin Curwen-McAdams

Degree sought: PhD inCrop Science

Born and raised in the grasslands of the Willamette Valley just outside Corvallis, OR, I grew up gardening.  I have worked in seed production, orcharding and organic farming.  My love of baking, seed and agriculture brought me to Mt Vernon to work with Dr. Stephen Jones on a PhD in Plant Breeding focusing on perennial wheat and breeding for novel seed traits in wheat.Education Background: Environmental Science – Univ. of Oregon


 Amandeep Dhaliwal

Degree sought: PhD in Molecular Sciences

Important plant growth hormone gibberellic acid (GA)-deficient wheat and rice were instrumental in bringing about the Green Revolution. However, growing evidence suggests that GA-deficient plants put a ceiling for yield especially under limited water conditions. In addition to GA dwarfs, agronomically relevant reduction in plant height with no yield penalty can also be achieved by mutating genes involved in the biology of other plant hormones such as auxin and brassinosteroids. Therefore, focus of my research is to identify and characterize an alternate dwarfing gene system for wheat and other grasses.

Yushan Duan

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science


My research is focused on evaluating caneburning of several red raspberry cultivars in Pacific Northwest.Education Background:B.S. (Horticulture) - Northeast Agricultural Univ., Harbin, ChinaB.S. (Crop Science) - Michigan State UniversityM.S. (Crop Science) –  Washington State University

 Khalid Elbudony

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

In recent years water shortage has  proved to be one of the main scarce for populations over the world, especially in dry and semi dry lands. Every year in many places around the world people who live in affected regions have lost their crops by scarcity of ground  water as well as rainfall. As a response to this problem, my study would focus on: Genetic and physiological study to improve wheat varieties tolerant to drought conditions.

Elizabeth Elmore

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science


Eva Erdayani

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science


David Favero

Degree sought: PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences

I grew up in Denver, Colorado and was homeschooled all the way  through high school. As a high school student, I developed a love for genetics  and knew I wanted to pursue a career in that direction. I became interested in  crop biotechnology, being particularly inspired by the golden rice project. After finishing community college, I transferred to Colorado State University where I got my B.S. with a concentration in plant biotechnology,  genetics and breeding. My research involves studying a 29-member family of DNA-binding proteins, known as the AHLs, in the model plant Arabidopsis. Particularly, I am interested in  understanding the function the AHLs at the molecular level and the differences  between various family members. AHL proteins are found in all higher plants and, therefore, in crop plants too. I am hopeful that scientists may be able use information obtained from this research to improve crops through the manipulation of AHLs found in these plants.Education Background:B.S. (Soil & Crop Science)  - Colorado State Univ.


Patrick Freeze 

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

I come from a small farming community nested in the “hill country” region of central Texas, but completed my undergraduate education in Reno, NV.  At the University of Nevada, I graduated with a B.S. in environmental science, and focused on soil science, environmental chemistry, biofuels synthesis/production, environmental policy and regulations, and community outreach.  After working with indigenous groups impacted by environmental degradation through large-scale mining, in both Nevada and western Africa, I ultimately decided soil science and resource conservation were the logical foundations to center my studies on for my Ph.D.As part of the Low Impact Development research program at WSU, my research will focus on the use of iron-gluconate amended compost and its ability to mitigate the impacts of agricultural land runoff through the adsorption of xenobiotics, excess nutrients, and arsenic, with the main focus being the speciation, fate, and transport of arsenic.Education Background: B.S. (Environmental Sciences) –  University of NevadaMinor: Analytical Chemistry


 Paul Froese

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science


Shiferaw Gizaw

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

My research focuses on phenotypic and genetic characterization of drought resistance traits in wheat. I use infrared radiometry and related sensor technologies to complement/advance conventional phenotyping and deepen physiological and genetic understanding of drought responsive traits.Education Background:B.S. (Biology) – Addis Ababa Univ, Ethiopia M.S. (Applied Genetics) Addis Ababa Univ, EthiopiaM.S. (Crop Sci & Biotechnology) Univ of Pannonia, Hungary

Jayfred Godoy

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

I am working on the QTL onalysis for heat tolerance in spring wheat using elite breeding lines.Education Background:B.S. (Agriculture) – Visayas State Univ, PhilippinesM.S. (Agronomy) – Kansas State University

Michael Grant

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

I  grew up in Southern California living in Orange County for most of my life and  moving to San Diego for school.  My dad  is an ophthalmologist and has his own practice, The Retina Consultants of  Orange County.  My mom has her law degree  and runs the office. My research is predominantly looking at how biofilms, microbial aggregates,  weather soil minerals and what is going on in that process.  This field is very new and there is very  little work done on how biofilms act in these soil systems.  Work on biofilms is mostly done focusing on  medical applications, how to kill bad biofilms growing where we don’t want them  to, and corrosion work.  This makes my  research really cool because the things that I am looking at have not been  looked at before.  I am working on two  projects, one in which there are pine trees growing in a growth chamber the  other is growing biofilms in a reactor on mineral coupons.  The pine growth experiment is also looking at  how the weathering process takes place in inoculated and non-inoculated trees  under different nutrient treatments.Education Background: B.S. (Cognitive Science) – UC San Diego


Nathan Grant

Degree sought: PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences

 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!

Emily Green-Tracewicz, Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Studies

Emily Green-Tracewicz

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science


 Cedric Habiyaremye

Degree sought: MS inCrop Science

I was born, grew up in Rwanda and raised in Tanzania. I am interested in using new innovations in agricultural technologies to advance local community development needs – turning current agriculture problems into long-term development solutions to malnutrition in Rwanda. The most important lesson came from working closely with rural residents at the community level. Working for Building Bridges with Rwanda (BBR Ltd) the time I was doing my undergrad gave me practical opportunities to test new ideas and put them to work. It has greatly prepared me to the next step in my life. I enrolled at WSU in Fall 2013 after a fabulous agriculture internship during the 2012 summer with WSU students and staff working on different agriculture projects at the Covaga Innovation Center in Rwanda. My research focuses on breeding and groecology of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa).  Education Background:B.S. (Agriculture Engineering & Environmental Sciences) - Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE-Busogo), Rwanda

K. Highet 

Kelsey Highet

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science

I grew up in Mount Vernon, which is located in the Skagit Valley of Western Washington.  I started my master’s program fall semester 2013 with Dr. Rebecca McGee and Dr. Stephen Guy as my advisors.  I am interested in agronomy and grain legume improvement, and my research project focuses on looking at optimum seeding rate densities for a couple of popular lentil and chickpea varieties.Education Background: B.S. (Crop Management) – WSU

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Leonardo Hinojosa

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

I was born in Ecuador and grew up in a small town near Quito. My passion with nature encouraged me to study Agronomy. I obtained my Agronomic Engineer degree in Ecuador. My research project was to study the behavior of several varieties of potatoes to drought in a greenhouse. I was hired by Research Institute to Agronomy in Ecuador to work with cereal crops. Afterwards, I achieved a Masters degree in Spain in Environmental Agrobiology by means of an international scholarship. When I came back to Ecuador, I started to work in the United Nations World Food Program for two years in humanitarian aid. I received a scholarship from the Ecuadorian Government to study a PhD program. In 2013, I met Dr. Kevin Murphy at the IV Global Congress on Quinoa in Ecuador. I loved the idea of joining WSU and being a part of Dr. Murphy’s team. I will study the effect of abiotic stress in Quinoa.Educational Background: B.S. (Agricultural Engineering) Central University of Ecuador November 2009; M.S. (Environmental Agrobiology) University of Basque Country in September 2011


Steve Hinton

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

I am interested in developing a sustainable, sovereign food system appropriate for Salish tribal communities. I am presently employed by Skagit River System – Cooperative Director of Restoration since 2000. I have also been working as a restoration ecologist on habitat projects related to salmon recovery since 1993.Education Background:B.S. (Biology) – WSUM.S. (Science & Technology) – Georgia Inst. of Tech.

Kendra Jernigan-Gregory

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science


Harsmiran Kaur

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science


Ramanjot Kaur

Degree sought: Phd in Molecular Plant Sciences

I joined WSU as a graduate student in the year 2009. My research is focused on understanding chromosomal pairing in polyploid plants with an emphasis on wheat.Education Background:B.S. – Punjab Agricultural University, India
Khati_Kisusan Bikram

Kisusan Bikram Khati

Degree sought: MS in Soil Science

Emily Klarquist

 Emily Klarquist

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science

I am Ohio native and a recent graduate from Colorado State University. I began my M.S. degree in fall of 2013 focusing on stripe rust resistance and end-use quality in wheat.  After graduation, I hope to either continue myeducation on to a PhD or work internationally. Some of my interests include: hiking, skiing, climbing, and camping. I love anything outdoors, no matter the weather. Lastly, I am excited to begin a new chapter in Washington as a graduate student and looks forward to all there is to learn and experience, in and outside the classroom.Education Background:B.S. (Plant breeding, Genetics & Biotechnology) – Colorado State University 2013

Erik Landry

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

My research focuses on evaluating and developing winter-hardy Vicia faba L for the Palouse. A secondary focus is on the quality traits of V. faba to expedite commercial acceptance. I enjoy working with plants and gardening in my spare time.Education Background:B.S. (Horticulture) – University of ConnecticutM.S. (Plant Physiology) – University of Guelph

Nevin Lawrence

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

I was born in  the Black Hills of South Dakota but moved to Casper, Wyoming  when I was a child. While I have never lived in the Pacific  Northwest, I spent many summers as a child vacationing with my family on the Oregon and Washington  coast, and windsurfing in the Gorge.My research is just one part of a much larger  initiative to determine how grain growers from across the region will be  impacted because of changes in the climate.   This project is known as the Regional Approaches to Climate Change–Pacific  Northwest Agriculture (REACCH- PNA), a twenty million dollar USDA grant with 20  scientists working together as lead investigators. My specific contribution to this research  project will be to determine how different weed species may change in distribution and biology and what impact that will have on their competition with crops.Education Background:B.S. (Agroecology) – Univ. of WyomingM.S. (Agronomy) – Univ. of Wyoming

 Melissa Letourneau

Degree sought:  PhD in Soil Science

I’m  from Indiana but I moved  to Washington in 2005 to be near the mountains.   I studied Biology at North Seattle Community College from 2007-2009 in  preparation for graduate school.  I have  worked as a lab assistant, bread baker, engineering intern, and cook, and have  visited eight national parks.I  am researching bacterial communities that grow in the rhizosphere of dryland  wheat and produce redox-active antibiotic compounds known as phenazines.  I am particularly interested in how  phenazines mobilize iron and manganese from soil minerals and promote biofilm  formation.  I am also exploring how  phenazine-rich soils and biofilms might promote drought resistance among  bacteria and associated crops.Educational Background:B.S. (Geology) – Indiana University

Megan Lewien

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

 James Lewis

Degree sought: PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences

DSCN4421SAM_0703EDTClose Up Rachel Lindell

Degree sought: MS in Crop Sciences

 On May 10, 2014, I will graduate from the Washington State University’s undergraduate program with a Bachelors in Agricultural Technology and Production Management and a minor in Business Administration. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I interned at the McGregor Company in Quincy, WA and Pullman, WA. This allowed me to gain an in-depth understanding of agronomy and the agriculture industry. I was an active member of the Agricultural Technology and Production Management (AgTM) Club and was the club president during my senior year. As a club, we network amongst students in CAHNRS and agricultural companies through meetings and club activities, such as trap-shoots. The club, during my term, put on the first annual AgTM Banquet and Silent Auction. Outside of school my hobbies are sewing, trap-shooting, my horses, and spending time with my family and friends. I am excited to continue my education at Washington State University by getting a Masters in Crop Sciences focused in Weed Sciences with Ian Burke as my advisor. I will start my degree in Fall 2014. I plan to research weed resistance and help to start a weed resistance screening program.Educational Background: Bachelors in Agricultural Technology at Washington State University

 Weizhen Liu

Degree sought: PhD in Crop science


My research mainly focuses on spring wheat breeding and genetics by characterizing new stripe resistance genes and developing breeder-friendly high-throughput SNP makers for these genes, applying genotyping techniques.Education Background:B.S. (Biotechnology) – Nanjing Agricultural Univ., China


Tai McClellan Maaz

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

My birthplace is nested within the Appalachian Mountains, where Virginia meets Tennessee. After a couple of years at the University of Virginia, I left art history to study soil science at the University of Hawaii  at Manoa. Did you know that the small  islands of Hawaii  have 9 (and maybe 10) of the world’s 12 soil orders? I landed in the Palouse to chase after the nitrogen cycle in the rolling fields  of wheat, pea, and canola. My work merges the missions of the WSU’s NSPIRE and REACCH programs, seeking to find solutions that enable the adaptation and mitigation of climate change in  agriculture. I am focusing on designing alternative cropping systems and establishing recommended management practices,  with expected outcomes that enhance nitrogen use efficiency and reduce nitrogen losses to aquatic and atmospheric systems.Educational Background: M.S/B.S. (Soil Fertility) – Univ. of Hawaii


Isaac Madsen

Degree sought: PhD inSoil Science


My research is looking at nitrogen movement through irrigated cropping systems. I am looking closely at the effects of cover cropping and reduced tillage in a potato, corn, and wheat rotation on nitrate leaching and retention. I hope to expand this work to a regional model using GIS to look at the nitrogen budget in eastern Washington.Education Background: B.S. (Integrated Plant Science) – WSU


Aaron Mahoney

Degree sought: PhD in Plant Pathology

 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

Rizwana Maqbool

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

I graduated from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan in 2007. I obtained my masters from the same university in Plant Breeding and Genetics in 2009. I came to WSU in spring 2010 to pursue my Ph.D and now I am fighting with it :)I  am working to characterize tiller gene in wheat by using lateral suppressor  mechanism of some cereal crops.

 Shantel Martinez

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science

My hometown is Omak, WA. In my spare time, I love taking a moment to slow down by sitting in a coffeehouse with a good read. I have been conducting research continuously since a month after I graduated high school. My undergraduate researched has included parasite competitive  modeling for malaria prevention, analyzing torsional properties in porous  titanium, finding protein-protein interactions in a specific biological  pathway, and mapping a gene(s) that contributes to SuperSoft wheat. My research is focused on mapping an ABA hypersensitive gene in wheat while also  looking at ABA/GA (plant hormones) gene expression during an After-Ripening  time course.Education Background: B.S. (Bioengineering) – WSU

Carol McFarland

Degree sought: MS in Soil Science

Meints 2

Brigid Meints

Degree sought: Ph.D. in Crop Science


I grew up in Corvallis, OR and developed a love for plants at a young age. In college, I pursued social science, but found my way back to plants after graduation when I began working for the barley breeding program at Oregon State University. I earned by MS fro OSU in plant breeding and genetics. Starting Fall 2014, I am working towards a Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Stephen Jones in Mount Vernon. My project focuses on breeding and trialing barley, wheat, and dry beans for production in northwest Washington.Educational background: BA in Anthropology and Gender & Women’s Studies, Scripps College; MS in Crop Science with a focus in Plant Breeding and Genetics, Oregon State University

Minckler_ScottScott Minckler

Degree sought: MS in Agriculture

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 is not yet fully defined, but I will be working with my advisor John  Reganold, to design a project that addresses the efficacy of sound  agroecological practices as they relate to the health and sustainability of  agriculture, farming  productivity and  economic return.Education Background:B.S. (Biology) – WSU

Eninka Mndolwa

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

Kebede Muleta

Degree sougth: PhD in Crop Science

 Jessica Mullane

Degree sought: MS inSoil Science


Ragupathi Nagarajan

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

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 travelling.

Sven Nelson

Degree sought: PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences

I am pursuing my PhD in the lab of Dr. Camille M. Steber, where I am investigating the role of GA signaling in Arabidopsis seed dormancy. GA (gibberellin) is a phytohormone that functions antagonistically to ABA (abscisic acid) with regards to seed dormancy; whereas ABA is involved in the onset and maintenance of seed dormancy, GA functions to stimulate seed germination. My hobbies include: lab work… and… um, pipetting… (most recently having developed my left-handed technique with plans for possible two-handed simultaneous pipetting in the eventual future). Prior to entering graduate school at WSU I was a research technician in the laboratory of Dr. Stanley Fields who is well known for his development of the yeast 2-hybrid technique for detecting protein-protein interactions. Prior to that I lived in Japan as an English teacher, which is also where I met my wife, Shoko.


Kelly O’neill

Degree sought: MS in Soil Science


O. Blessing Oraguzie

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science


Bodh Paudel

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

My research  is on biological control of soil borne pathogens with soil amendments.  Basically I am involved in Verticillium wilt of potato and Fusarium root rot of  Douglas fir seedlings.Education Background:B.S. (Agriculture) – Tribhuvan University, NepalM.S. (Soil Science) – University of Missouri

Hao Peng

Degree sougth: PhD in Crop Science

Education Background:B.S. (Biology) – Wuhan University, ChinaM.S. (Cell Biology) – Chinese Academy of SciencePh. D. (Biochem & Molecular Bio) - Chinese Academy of Ag Sciences


Enrique Proano

Degree sought: MS in Soil Science


Alan Raeder

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science

I am from Finley, WA, a community just south of the Tri-Cities, in eastern Washington. After graduating high school in 2007, I attended Columbia Basin College (CBC) in Pasco, WA where I was a student for two years in their agriculture program before transferring to Washington State University. During my first semester at WSU, I took a weed management and ecology course and quicly realized that I enjoy the topic of weed science very much. I am currently working towards completing a PhD in weed science.  My research focuses on soil and herbicide interactions.  I am specifically studying the fate of a spring applied postemergence herbicide in inland Pacific Northwest silt loam soils to understand unexpected residual activity of the herbicide.Education Background:B.S. (Agriculture) – WSU

Megan Reese

Degree sought: MS in Soil Science

I grew up among the crops and livestock of central California, where my family background and 4-H involvement developed my passion for agriculture at a young age.  I loved my time as a Plant Science student at UC Davis, which further cemented my desire to contribute to the agricultural industry.  Outside of class and work experiences, water polo has been a large part of my life.  In college, our team won back-to-back national championships, and I was a 2-time national player of the year.  I also love working with cows and riding my horse. For my masters research, I am working on a canola planting date study in Ritzville, focusing particularly on soil moisture depletion.Education Background:B.S (Plant Science) – UC Davis

Justin Ruiz

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science

Gagonjot Sidhu

Degree sought: PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences

John Spring

Degree sought: Phd in Crop Science

Caleb Squires

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science


 Nathan Stacey

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, while exploring the mountains of Colorado, I discovered an intense interest in the field of plant science.  Positions in Colorado, California, and Washington strengthened this interest, while the Turf Management Program (2008) at Rutgers State University, afforded a base for knowledge.  I joined the research staff at Puyallup in January, 2011.  As I pursues his M.S. in Crop and Soil Science, my research is focused on the identification and pathogenicity of Pythium spp. affecting the turfgrass industry. Using PCR amplification and subsequent DNA analysis, the project hopes to provide a better understanding of the pathogen, and to provide Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for turf managers.Education Background:B.A. (Communication) – Truman State UniversityAtt. Turf Management Program – Rutgers State University

Jason Stout

Degree Sought: PhD in Soil Science

Waled Suliman

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

 Nicole Tautges

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science

Rueben Tayengwa

Degree sought: PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences

The Neff lab has identified a family of three plant-specific proteins in Arabidopsis (SOB5, AtSOFL1 and AtSOFL2) which, when over-expressed, increase levels of specific cytokinins. These proteins have no known function. I am currently using a combination of molecular genetics and biochemical tools to investigate the biological function of these three proteins.

Stephen Taylor

Degree sought: MS in Soil Science


I received my BS in Microbiology from BYU and joined Dr. Dave Huggins’ lab in Fall of 2014 as a Master’s Candidate. My research is focused on developing science-based decision support systems for farmers using precision nitrogen management technologies. My interests are in water and soil conservation.

Dan TerAvest

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

Yvonne Thompson

Degree sought: Phd in Crop Science


Jennifer Trapp

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science


Keiko Tuttle

Degree sought: PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences


Rachel Unger

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

I transferred to Washington State University in the fall of 2010 where I am working towards finishing up my Ph.D. I’m  studying the crop rotational effects on the field scale variability in the weed  seed bank and soil nitrogen.Education Background:B.A. (Environmental Studies) – Knox CollegeM.S. (Environmental & Soil Science) – Iowa State University

Jonathan Wachter

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

I grew up in Berkeley, California, spending my summers hiking and climbing in the  Sierra Nevada mountains, and the winters hiking in the coastal forests.  After highschool, I moved to New Hampshire to  study forest ecology at Dartmouth College, where I was exposed to  interdisciplinary sustainability efforts and concepts of systems and resilience  thinking.  After a short break from  school, I decided to come to WSU to apply ecological thinking to agricultural  systems.I  plan to focus on nitrogen cycling in integrated cropping and livestock  systems. Being an NSPIRE fellow, my research will integrate research on nitrogen cycling with policy-making.

Jake Wavrin

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science


Rachel Wieme

Degree sought: PhD in Soil Science

I was born and raised in Minnesota where I grew up loving just about anything to do with the outdoors.  The most influential experiences from my undergrad include the semester I spent in Costa Rica conducting research on an organic cocoa farm. That semester provided the springboard to further research in agricultural systems once back in Minnesota, which transformed into another influential experience as I developed relationships with local farmers and organizations to promote on-farm research trials.I am interested in studying various practices that can make agriculture more sustainable, especially as related to nitrogen management. My research is focused on introducing organic quinoa as an alternative crop for the inland Pacific Northwest. Specifically, I will examine the ecological and economic impacts of incorporating quinoa into organic rotations with other crops common to the region.Education Background B.A. (Biology & Spanish) – St. Olaf College
L. Winkler

 Louisa Winkler

Degree sought: PhD in Crop Science

I joined the WSU Plant Breeding PhD program under Dr Steve Jones at the Mount Vernon Research & Extension Center in July 2013 and will be working primarily on wheat and oats. I will also be working on sourdough starter cultures (leavens), attempting to understand the interrelationships between grain varietal characteristics, sourdough microbial communities and the quality of the baked loaf.  This work is hoped to inform both wheat breeding work and leaven utilization.  I moved to Mount Vernon from the UK’s Organic Research Centre, where I was based on their field site, Wakelyns Agroforestry, managing arable and horticultural crop trials. I have also worked in commercial organic horticulture.Education Background B.A. (Oriental Studies) – University of Oxford

Bethany Wolters

Degree sought: MS in Soil Science

Galen Woodward

Degree sought: MS in Soil Science

Geyang Wu

Degree sought: PhD in Food Science

Lauren Young

Degree sought: MS in Crop Science

After graduating, I spent time working as an educator in California and Washington, before returning to WSU in 2012 to join the Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) project. I now work full time as a cropping systems technician, while pursuing an MS in Crop Science, advised by Dr. Frank Young.Education Background: B.S. (Agriculture & Food Systems) – WSU


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