Santa Cruz, CA
I would like get a PhD to continue doing research, and also do more extension work in the future.
I am studying how tomatoes defend themselves against hornworms when they are exposed to their neighbor's herbivore-induced volatiles. These volatiles act as a warning signal allowing tomatoes to prepare for attack. We can take advantage of this trait by zeroing in on specific compounds that tomatoes respond to, increasing direct and indirect defenses against herbivore pests.
I was actually scared of insects before starting my master's here a year ago. My first weekend I volunteered to help at the Purdue entomology booth at the Indiana State fair – I got over my fear in a hurry handling Madagascar giant cockroaches! The more I learn about insects, less intimidated I am by them in everyday life. Now I just find them fascinating!
The monarch butterfly – Monarchs overwinter in my hometown, completely covering eucalyptus trees. In fact, my parents met over monarch butterflies!
I have been fencing (with swords) for more than 12 years – I fence saber for the Purdue Fencing Club.
So hard to choose! Peanut Butter chocolate chip – or chocolate chip with dried cherries. Yum.
Margret Atwood's Madaddam trilogy
I would like to drive the old Route 66 across the south, and visit Morocco.