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Matthew S

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)


Plant Biology, Plant Biochemistry and Genetics, Plant-Microbe Interactions


I am a 4th year PhD student at UC Berkeley in the Plant and Microbial Biology Department. I previously studied Plant Breeding and Genetics and Cornell University, so I have broad background and love for all things plant! I am particularly interested in how we can use modern biochemical tools to help produce better crops that benefit both farmers and consumers. I have experience with biotechnology, plant biology, plant breeding, plant-microbe interactions/pathology, plant biodiversity, plant biochemistry, and even soil science, and I would be delighted to take on students interested in anything in the plant and biotechnological realm.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Plant Photoreception to Various Colors of Light

Plants are able to sense and respond to not only light as a whole but also to particular colors (wavelengths) of light. This project will investigate the effects of different light colors on seedling elongation and bending toward the light source (phototropism). The student will conduct experiments to determine how differing qualities of light impact plant growth and development and relate these results to plant growth in the wild.

Coding skills


Teaching experience

High school mentor for 3 years at the Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute for a student summer bioinformatics program. In this program, students were exposed to computation biology and bioinformatics and learned how to navigate gene databases and model proteins and protein evolution. I have also been a paid Spanish tutor through Cornell University to assist new students through the Learning Resources Center.


Work experience

UC Berkeley (2020 - Current)
PhD Student


Cornell University
BS Bachelor of Science (2020)
Plant Science
University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Plant and Microbial Biology

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