College of Arts and Science
In being selected, Thomas will receive complimentary registration to attend the all-virtual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) on “Translating Visionary Science to Practice” held November 9-13, 2020. In addition to the scientific sessions, Thomas will have the opportunity to participate in graduate student programs, live round-table discussions with other scientists, live Q&As, poster sessions, a graduate school forum, as well as an invitation-only session with representatives from Bayer and others on career opportunities, preparing for your career, and networking.
In addition, Thomas will receive one year of membership with the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America and the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) to foster the continuation of relationships developed during the meeting.
The 2020 Bayer Diversity Fund is a collaboration between Bayer CropScience and the ASA, CSSA, SSSA, MANRRS. Approximately 200 undergraduate students, graduate students and early career professionals from underrepresented groups from across the nation were selected as participants.
“I am honored to have been selected for this program and am grateful to Bayer and the societies for the opportunity,” said Thomas, who is a second-year Ph.D. student in the lab of J. Chris Pires. “Some of my research focuses on understanding the genomic basis of salt regulation in halophytes, particularly Cakile maritima, and how these data can be used to enable the phytoremediation of saline soils. My background is in comparative genomics and phylogenetics, so this opportunity will allow me to see and hear diverse perspectives from crop and soil scientists, which will be critical for designing useful experiments and sampling strategies for my project. I also am looking forward to developing interdisciplinary connections and collaborations that will be helpful for my career development.”