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Environmental Horticulture Graduate Program

Environmental Horticulture Graduate Program

Cindy L. Sigler / Plant Breeding and Genetics

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.

Advisers: Dr. Thomas Colquhoun

Cindy L. Sigler CV


    • 2016-present Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of Florida
    • 2014-2016 Bachelor of Science in Plant Science minoring in Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida


    Hawthorne Middle High School Science Fair Judge Dec. 2016
    Westwood Middle School Science Fair Judge Dec. 2016
    Environmental Horticulture Graduate Student Association Aug. 2016- present
    Meals on Wheels Volunteer Aug. 2016- present
    Physics Bus Volunteer Jan. 2015- Present
    Tau Sigma Honor Society Aug. 2014-2016
    Entomology Club Aug. 2014-2016


    Graduate Student Fellowship Aug. 2016-2020
    Dean’s List May 2016- Aug. 2016
    University Scholars Program Aug. 2015- Aug. 2016
    Davis Scholarship Aug. 2015
    Knapp Scholarship Aug. 2015
    Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Aug. 2012- May 2016

    I am currently investigating the biochemistry of floral fragrance and how these secondary metabolites influence insect attraction and/or behavior. Numerous angiosperms have evolved to produce a complex floral volatile bouquet shaped by interactions with pollinators and florivores. The regulation and enzymatic reactions producing these volatile compounds via multiple signaling pathways have yet to be fully elucidated. Petunia × hybrida cv ‘Mitchel Diploid’ (MD) and Caladium bicolor will be used as model flower systems based on their specialized pollinator syndromes synchronized to their nocturnal volatile emissions. A better understanding of how volatile profiles are created and tailored for insect interaction will allow for a greater understanding of the chemical ecology and evolution of these floral systems.

    UF Teaching Assistant for “Plants, Gardens, and You” 2015- 2016
    Role: Record keeping, marking attendance, and quiz grading for two classes