Undergraduate Students




Anna Gomes

Major: Agricultural and Environmental Education
Supervisor: Antonia Palkovic

Anna Gomes is a fourth-year undergraduate at UC Davis majoring in Agricultural and Environmental Education, with an emphasis in plant and soil science. She got involved in the SCOPE Plant Breeding Project spring 2017 as a member of the lima bean team. Anna has enjoyed learning from a diverse group of graduate students, while building her knowledge of plant breeding, field operations, lab techniques, and the agricultural organic industry.


Yufei Qian

Major: Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry
Supervisor: Charles Brummer

Yufei is from Beijing, China, and is in her senior year at UC Davis. She has always been interested in working with plants, especially in developing new varieties of plants with better traits. Currently, she is working in Dr. Charlie Brummer's lab on the spinach breeding project. They are trying to develop spinach with better heavy metal cadmium resistance. Qian has experience in Mann Lab with Professor Jiang Cai-Zhong from USDA on petunia breeding and developments. 



Nisha Marwaha

Major: Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Supervisor: Saarah Kuzay

Nisha is in her last year studying Biological and Agricultural Engineering with a focus on natural resource engineering. She is interested in working in water resources engineering to support sustainable agriculture systems, ultimately for smaller scale systems in developing areas. Her main motivation for this is a desire to help develop solutions to our world’s problems regarding food scarcity and especially in less developed areas, human nutrition. She has been lucky enough to be involved with the SCOPE Pepper Project for the past two years. SCOPE has allowed her to learn about the plant breeding and research process, as well as explore fields that work towards the similar goal of providing communities with the foods that we need.



Ellen Osborn

Major: Global Disease Biology
Supervisor: Jeff Ross-Ibarra

Ellen Osborn is a 4th year transfer student majoring in Global Disease Biology. As an undergraduate researcher in the Ross-Ibarra Lab, she is studying the population genetics of the transposable element, hopscotch, in maize and teosinte. Currently, she is mining the genomes of inbred maize populations, looking for copies of the hopscotch TE, estimating their time of insertion, and building phylogenies to show the evolutionary relationships between the different copies. She hopes to build on our understanding of how TEs interact with their host genomes and ultimately influence plant evolution. 


Matisse Madrone

Major: Genetic and Genomics
Supervisor: Kay Watt

Matisse is pursuing a degree in science because she is highly driven to help others and create a tangible, positive change in the world. To this end, she is presently engaged in a project to breed more drought tolerant chickpeas, to help feed the world in the face of our changing climate.