Graduate Students

Graduate Students

PSLA Graduate Students

Extension Education and MCERT/IMCP- Agricultural & Extension Education

Meet our Extension Education (AEED) graduate students as well as those pursuing an MCERT/IMCP with AGST: Agricultural & Extension Education!

Graduate Students            Contact Information Research Focus
Photo of Jim Barey

Jim Barey

  • A Delaware/Maryland native; DE 4-H/FFA graduate and Eastern Shore "Agvocate."
  • Currently the 4-H/FCS Admin Assistant for the UMD Queen Anne's County Extension Office.
  • Hoping to utilize the information learned in the AEED degree to supplement and expand the current programming in Queen Anne's County and become a UMD Extension Agent/Educator.

Jennifer Freebery


  • Works as conservation planner for Maryland Department of Agriculture in Kent where she helps farmers protect soil and water quality on their land.
  • Bachelor's in Environmental Science from Washington College
  • Manages the environmental education, website, social media, and is the secretary of the Maryland Envirothon.
  • Participated in LEAD Maryland Class X. 

Samaila Mamman


Photo of Gracie Mason

Gracie Mason

  • Harford County, MD Native
  • Bachelor’s in Animal Science (Production and Management) from Berry College (2019)
  • Ag Worker II at the UMD Campus Farm
  • Interested in Agroecology, Sustainable & Regenerative Agriculture, and related fields

Meg Smolinksi

  • Using the University of Maryland Arboretum & Botanical Gardens to further research at our institution Combating post-partum depression with low-impact outdoor adult education programming
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Haylee Staruk

  • Current SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educator for University of Maryland Extension.
  • Interested in researching the influence of Farm-to-School Programming on the consumption of healthy foods at low-income elementary schools.


Landscape Architecture

Meet our Landscape Architecture (LARC & LACP) students!

Please visit our Landscape Architecture Graduate Students page. 

Plant Science

Meet our Plant Science (PLSC) graduate students!

Graduate Students            Contact Information  Research Focus
Photo of Helen Boniface


Helen Boniface

Tully Lab

  • Assessment of cover crop mixture performance across the Northeastern US to improve farmer recommendations
  • Evaluation of the long-term impact of management factors on soil organic carbon stocks in various Mid-Atlantic cropping systems
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Stephen Boushell

Hu Lab

  • Evaluation of fungicide resistance management strategies of bunch grape pathogens.
  • Quantification of the extent to which efficacy of fungicides are compromised under varied resistance scenarios.
Photo of Innocent Byiringiro

Innocent Byiringiro

Qi Lab

  • Plant genome engineering
  • Metabolic pathways engineering
Humberto Castillo, PLSC Graduate Student


Humberto Castillo Gonzalez

Chaverri Lab

  • Examination of the diversity of endophytic fungi from the Rubiaceae family.   
  • Study key roles in driving plant responses against pathogens and/or for adaptation to difficult environments.
  • Understanding the role of plants in selecting lineages of fungi using secondary metabolites, how the communities are assembled, and what interactions take place. 
Bhavit Chhabra


Bhavit Chhabra

Rawat Lab

  • Study of the genetic resistance in bread wheat against Fusarium Head Blight.
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Joshua Clem

Qi Lab

  • Plant genome engineering
  • DNA repair
    • CRISPR/Cas systems
Scott Cosseboom 


Scott Cosseboom

Hu Lab

Post-Doctoral Researcher

  • Evaluation of management methods against bunch grape diseases.
    • Fungicide efficacy and sensitivity testing for pathogens of bunch grapes and small fruit
  • Observation of pathogen species distribution and frequency in bunch grape and small fruit fields of the Mid-Atlantic
Portrait of Adam Hopper, Ph.D student


Adam Hopper

Micallef Lab

  • Metabolomics of crop surfaces influence on plant-microbe associations
  • Reduction of enteric pathogen colonization on crop surfaces using a metabolomics approach 
  • Examination of physiological and morphological traits that drive enteric pathogen attachment/colonization

Claire Hudson 

Micallef Lab

  • Exploration of the role of endophytic microorganisms and plant defenses against pathogenic bacteria
    • Influence of plant associated microbiota on plant exometabolome and the metabolome of the host 
    • Abiotic and biotic elicitation of antimicrobial secondary metabolites in leafy greens as a means to improve food safety.
    • Abiotic elicitation and the impact on shelf life and microbiome shifts in leafy greens.
  • Internalization of enteric pathogens on leafy greens in response to factors such as changes in environmental conditions, metabolome and microbiome.
Anmol Kajla

Anmol Kajla

Tiwari Lab

Photo of Diksha Klair

Diksha Klair

Micallef Lab

  • Investigation of the Influence of PGPR on plant metabolome under abiotic stresses.
  • Enteric pathogen-plant interactions influencing transcriptomic and metabolomic profile of plant.

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Joseph Lagner

Qi Lab

  • Application of CRISPR-based disease detection.
Abby Lathrop-Melting

Abby Lathrop-Melting 

Erwin & Micallef Lab


  • Utilizing episodic abiotic stress to improve nutritional quality and food safety of lettuce in controlled environment systems
  • Understanding how changes in the lettuce metabolome impact associations with foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms
Bruce Levine 


Bruce Levine

Xiao Lab

  • Exploration of the function of genes in the Chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) suspected of playing a role in pathogenesis.
  • Study of highly-conserved fungal pathogenicity genes as possible targets for novel forms of disease resistance.
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Janelle Livesay

Rawat Lab


  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the use of Ascaroside treatments as a prophylaxis against Fusarium graminearum infection in wheat.
Aimee Malzahn

Aimee Malzahn

Qi Lab

  • Utilization of CRISPR-based genome engineering in dicot plants
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Lauren Elizabeth Marshall

Chanse Lab

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Md Shipon Miah

Farcuh Lab

  • Fruit Quality, Ripening and Postharvest Physiology
  • Fruit Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Jennifer Morash

Lea-cox Lab

  • Evaluate the effects of organic soil amendments on soil chemical and physical properties as well as turfgrass establishment
  • Measure losses of nitrogen and phosphorus via leaching from organic soil amendments as well as soil amended with such products
  • Understand and untangle policy and stakeholder roadblocks that unnecessarily restrict the use of organic soil amendments thereby thwarting efforts to divert organic materials from landfills and incinerators
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Erin Myers


  • Researching how planting date and depth impact the yield of hemp varieties in Maryland to supply growers with specific recommendations.
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Boyoung Park

Kweon Lab

  • Stormwater BMPs

    • Economic effects

    • Housing sale prices

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Carl Paulson

Tiwari Lab

  • Wheat genetics

  • Wheat transformation


Shravya Peddigari


  • Understanding the organic and conventional management practices in athletic fields sports turf in Maryland.

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Carrie Perkins


Cara Peterson

Cara Peterson

Tully Lab

  • Research the integrating cover crops into no-till grain production
  • Evaluation of interseeding cover crop mixtures into double-crop soybeans as a method for increasing legume cover crop adoption in the mid-Atlantic
Photo of Shannon Rotella

Shannon Rotella

Hu Lab

  • Determination of the frequency of fungicide resistance in grape downy mildew.
  • Identification and distribution of grape downy mildew cryptic species in Mid Atlantic vineyards.
  • Understanding the effect of shoot thinning and leaf pulling practices on disease prevalence in Mid Atlantic vineyards.

Adam Schoen

Adam Schoen

Tiwari Lab

  • Development of a pipeline for efficient gene discovery of agronomically important traits in hexaploid bread wheat using diploid wheat species as a model.
  • Reestablishing the University of Maryland's small grain breeding program using new technologies and speed breeding techniques in order to introduce new elite cultivars to growers.

Taylor Schulden

Taylor Schulden  

Rawat/Erwin Lab

  • Wheat rust resistance gene cloning in the tertiary gene pool of wheat. Particularly, cloning of leaf rust and stripe rust resistance genes derived from Aegilops geniculata
  • Novel and efficient methodology development for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in Echeveria spp., an ornamental succulent.


Allison Schulenburg

Tully Lab


  •  Quantifying the accumulation of Na and P pools in plant biomass and drawdown in soils in order to guide best management practices and easement policies for landowners facing sea level rise and SWI.

Bradley Simpson

Bradley Simpson

Sullivan Lab

  • Evaluation of long-term trajectories in plant composition, forest structure, and light availability following urban forest restoration practices.
  • Further understand the ecological relationship between birds and invasive plant species and the resulting impacts on urban forests.
Photo of Nate Spicer

Nate Spicer

Tully Lab

  • Evaluating the impacts of sea level rise on carbon and nitrogen cycling in agricultural fields and forests on the Eastern Shore.

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Simon Sretenovic

Qi Lab

  • Developing and improving genome editing systems in plants.

Yvette Tamukong

Yvette Tamukong

Culver Lab

  • Identification of active plum pox virus (PPV) variants during leaf and bud development of plum trees (Prunus domestica L.).
  • Investigating the role of roots and buds in the seasonal maintenance of PPV variants.
  • Examining host gene alterations in roots and buds and the impact on PPV maintenance during dormancy.

Sydney Wallace

Sydney Wallace

Rawat Lab


Louis Thorne

Fiorellino Lab

  • Phytoremediation in soils with high phosphorus

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Yuwei Xiao

Liu Lab

  • Fruit development through two different plant systems: wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca) and Arabidopsis thaliana.
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Inderjit Yadav

Tiwari Lab



Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences

Meet our MEES graduate students!


"Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences (MEES) is an inter-institutional graduate program of the University System of Maryland whose mission is to educate students to become the scientific leaders and problem-solvers of the future. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we train students to engage in scientific discovery, integration, and application to generate new knowledge and to solve environmental problems.

The MEES Program is an inter-institutional, statewide graduate program within the University System of Maryland (USM). The program is composed of faculty from several of the USM's degree-granting universities and research institutions as well as experts from government, non-government agencies and other non-academic units." - MEES Graduate Program

Graduate Student Contact Information Research Focus
Kaitlyn Wagner


Kaitlyn Wagner
Neel Lab

  • Conservation of genetic diversity
  • Role of phenotypic plasticity in the distribution of Vallisneria americana along salinity gradients
  • Selection of seed stock for restoration of V. americana

Molecular and Cell Biology

Meet our MOCB graduate students!


"The MOCB concentration area offers highly mentored graduate training with faculty interested in a broad spectrum of research focused on understanding the molecular nature of biology.  Our faculty members have expertise in state-of-the-art technologies, have national and international reputations, and publish in high impact journals.  MOCB-CA students receive a Core Curriculum that emphasizes knowledge in the areas of molecular genetics, nucleic acid biochemistry, cell biology, and structural biology.  In addition, a number of interdisciplinary research clusters are available focusing on host-pathogen interactions, plant systems, developmental biology, virology, genomics, biophysics, and more. The overall goal of the MOCB-CA is to provide our students with rigorous and comprehensive research training that will lead to a successful career in the biosciences." - Biological Sciences Graduate Program 

Graduate Students            Contact Information Research Focus
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Qiong Zhang
Xiao Lab