Shawna is a PhD student in the Department of Plant Biology performing research in the Friesen lab. She started her PhD during the summer of 2015 and is interested in how leguminous plants recognize differential nitrogen fixing abilities in rhizobia and how they distribute resources accordingly. Additionally, she is fascinated by how the microbiome influences the symbiotic relationship, specifically instances of rhizobial cheating. Evolution, biochemistry, genetics, and microbiology are all exciting topics and Shawna is excited to see where her PhD will take her in the world of research.
Additionally, Shawna enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, baking, traveling, reading, and generally having new experiences. She currently sits as a member of the social committee for the Plant Biology graduate student association. She is an active member of BEACON: The center for evolution in action and of the Plant Biotechnology for Health and Sustainability program. She is interested in science communication and education directed at individuals who are not aspiring/ active scientists. She enjoys a casual coffee/ tea addiction.
Shawna grew up in Ozarks region of Southwest Missouri and completed a B.S. in Biochemistry with a Minor in Peace Studies at the University of Missouri. Her time at Mizzou led to her love of plant-microbe interactions.