Our project team spans five universities and institutions with nearly 30 investigators representing varied expertise collaborating to understand the fundamentals of nitrogen utilizing to improve the oilseed camelina. We have divided our efforts into three main research activities: Genetics/Genomics, Physiology, and Plant-Microbe Interactions.

 

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Current Open Positions

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Location: Washington State University - Pullman

Area of focus: camelina microbiome characterization

 

Genetics and Genomics

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Chaofu Lu

Principal Investigator
Genetics/Genomics and Physiology
Web Page

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Luca Comai

Co-principal investigator
Lead, Genetics and Genomics
Web Page

Luca Comai is professor of Plant Biology at the Genome Center of the University of California at Davis. He has B.S. equivalent from the Universita' di Bologna, Italy, and a Ph.D. in plant pathology from UC Davis. In his career, he has worked on bacterial plasmid genetics, plant biotechnology (glyphosate resistance via alteration of EPSP synthase), and genetics and genomics of polyploidy. He co-developed TILLING, a method to identify targeted mutations. Since joining UC Davis in 2006, he has focused on function and regulation of chromosomes in polyploid genomes and on stress-induced genome instability. Dr. Comai teaches the foundation genetics course at UCD using a flipped approach.

Chengci Chen 

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics 
Fernando Correr

Fernando Correr

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics
Samuel Decker

Samuel Decker

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics

Sam joined the  Lu lab at MSU as a PhD student after obtaining a MS degree from the Brigham Young University in 2021.

He aims to dissect genetic mechanisms underlying nitrogen use efficiency and seed oil content in camelina using genomic approaches.

Jed Eberly

Jed Eberly 

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics and Plant-Microbe Interactions
Web Page
Shreya

Shreya Gautam

Investigator
Member, Genetics

I am graduate student from Nepal currently working with Dr. Chengci Chen and Dr. Chaofu Lu. My research is focused on phenotyping Camelina using image analysis.
Isabelle Henry

Isabelle M. Henry

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics

Isabelle Henry has been a Project Scientist at the UC Davis Genome Center since 2011. She received a BS degree in Biology, an MS degree in Biochemistry from the University of Liege, Belgium, and a Ph.D. degree in Biology from the University of Washington, Seattle, working on the triploid block and aneuploidy in Arabidopsis.

She is a Project Scientist, PI and co-PI on multiple projects. She uses genomic approaches to investigate how changes in genome structure affect gene function. She works on a variety of crop species, with an emphasis on polyploid species. Current projects include deciphering the mechanisms of sex determination in persimmon, developing efficient methods for mutation detection in large populations, developing breeding and functional genomics resources in poplar, and bringing mint into the genomic era.

Jinling Kang

Jinling Kang

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics
Jinling is the research associate of the Lu lab at MSU, who has been working with camelina for over 15 years. Besides providing assistance to researchers in managing camelina growth and maintenance, Jinlng is developing a mapping population derived from several camelina accessions with contrasting traits and genomic backgrounds.


Jennifer Lachowiec

Jennifer Lachowiec

Investigator
Member, Physiology and Genetics/Genomics
Web Page
GunNam Na

GunNam Na

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics 

William Schillinger

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics
Web Page

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics

I will be joining Dr. Chaofu Lu’s lab while I work towards my Master’s in Plant Sciences. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering. My research will focus on understanding how heat stress impacts yield and oil content in camelina through both phenotypic and transcriptomic studies. 

Helen Tsai

Helen Tsai

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics 

Helen Tsai received a BS degree in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior in 2006. In 2019, she received an M.S. in Integrative Genetics and Genomics from the University of California, Davis, developing a genetic map for Mentha suaveolens. 

She has been a member of the Comai lab at the UC Davis Genome Center since 2006 and has managed the TILLING core at the Genome Center since 2008. She is now a Senior Research Associate, and a typical day for her includes supporting and advising all lab members in high-throughput applications, managing the TILLING core, general coordination of laboratory personnel, supervision of undergraduate students and, more recently, bioinformatic analysis.

Jianhui Zhang

Jianhui Zhang

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics
I am a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Lu’s lab. I graduated from the Institute of Genetics and Development Biology, China Academy of Science, in summer 2012 with a Ph.D. degree in plant genetics. I have worked on genetics and genomics of small fruits and vegetable crops over the past few years. My postdoctoral research will focus on genetic regulation of the Omega-3 fatty acid content in Camelina seed oil.

Physiology

Andreas Fischer

Andreas Fischer

Investigator
Lead Physiology
Web Page

   Montana State University
   [email protected] 
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Jennifer Lachowiec

Investigator
Member, Genetics/Genomics and Physiology
Web Page

   Montana State University
   [email protected] 
Chaofu Lu

Chaofu Lu

Principal Investigator
Genetics/Genomics and Physiology
Web Page

   Montana State University 
   [email protected] Page
Mohammad Erfatpour

Mohammad Erfatpour

Investigator
Member, Physiology

I received both a bachelor’s and a master's degree in Horticulture Science from the University of Guilan, Iran in 1997 and 2007 respectively. I worked as a Horticulture Lab Technician from 1999 to 2012. I received my PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Guelph, Canada in 2021. My PhD research focused on mapping and identification of the gene associated with the non-darkening seed coat trait and its effects on agronomic, sensory, and cooking characteristics in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.).

I have been working as a postdoc researcher in Dr. Fischer lab at MSU since August 2021. In my current role, I am looking at proteomic investigations of proteases involved in leaf senescence in camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz) genotypes contrasting for N use efficiency.

   Montana State University
   [email protected]

Jorg Schwender

Investigator
Member, Physiology
Web Page
   Brookhaven National Laboratory
   [email protected] 
John Shanklin

John Shanklin 

Co-principal Investigator
Member, Physiology
Web Page

   Brookhaven National Laboratory
   [email protected] 

Plant-Microbe Interactions

Susannah Tringe

Susannah Tringe

Co-principal Investigator
Lead, Plant-Microbe Interactions
Web Page
    DOE Joint Genome Institute/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
   [email protected] 

Timothy Paulitz

Co-principal Investigator
Lead Plant-Microbe Interactions
Web Page

   Washington State University
   [email protected] 
Peter Andeer

Peter Andeer

Investigator
Member, Plant-Microbe Interactions
Web Page

   DOE Joint Genome Institute/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
   [email protected] 
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Jed Eberly

Investigator 
Member, Genetics/Genomics and Plant-Microbe Interactions
Web Page

   Montana State University
   [email protected] 
Trent Northen

Trent Northen

Investigator

Member, Plant-Microbe Interactions
Web Page

   DOE Joint Genome Institute/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
   [email protected] 
Qing Yan

Qing Yan

Investigator

Member, Plant-Microbe Interactions
Web Page

   Montana State University
   [email protected]