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EHGSA - Environmental Horticulture Graduate Student Association

EHGSA - Environmental Horticulture Graduate Student Association

EHGSA OFFICERS


‌President

Cindy Sigler

Cindy Sigler

Cindy Sigler is a doctoral student in the Environmental Horticulture Department majoring in Plant Breeding and Genetics. Cindy began working at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida at the age of 16 where she learned basic tissue culture and transformation techniques of pathogen-resistant citrus cultivars. After transferring to the University of Florida, Cindy began working in Dr. Thomas Colquhoun’s plant biotechnology laboratory with an undergraduate research focus on characterizing two protein families required for phenylpropanoid production in plants. Her current research involves investigating floral fragrance metabolism and its role in pollinator ecology. After completing her graduate studies, Cindy intends on improving flavor and aroma of fruits and flowers through volatile manipulation. When she’s not in a laboratory, Cindy can be found outside biking, kayaking or collecting specimens for her curated insect collection.


Secretary

 Carlee Steppe


Treasurers

Shea Keene

Shea Keene

Shea Keene is a master’s student in the Environmental Horticulture Department. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida. Originally planning on entering medical school, Shea followed a pre-medical track throughout her undergraduate career. During her final semester, however, she realized she was not happy in the medical field. She decided to scrap her medical school applications and instead applied for several horticultural internships, as she had found a love for plants and gardening in the preceding years. During the fall of 2014, Shea lived on the island of Kaua’i and completed an internship at the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Upon her return to Florida, she gained employment at Bok Tower Gardens and worked full-time as a gardener for all of 2015. While there, the Director of Horticulture introduced her to UF professor Dr. Kimberly Moore, who recommended graduate school and the Environmental Horticulture Department. Shea applied and was accepted as a graduate student by Dr. Thomas Colquhoun. Shea’s research interests include floral volatile analysis and consumer preference studies.


Faculty Representative

Nicholas Genna

 Nicholas Genna EHGSA image

‌Nicholas obtained a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Horticultural Sciences from the University of Florida. Nicholas’ background in biology is a driving force behind his motivation to ask basic scientific questions that address current research gaps in seed biology. One such gap is the potential for a within-species mass-based aging response in seeds. Nicholas’ Ph.D. research focuses on how intraspecific seed mass variation modulates in situ and ex-situ seed deterioration. Nicholas’ work has implications for understanding how seed mass contributes to microevolution in plants and viability loss in long-term storage. Nicholas hopes to work in some capacity to conserve resources and biodiversity by advancing mankind’s scientific understanding of the natural world. 


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