Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Graduate Student Directory

Berry and Potato Pathology

Dr. Chakradhar Mattupalli, Department of Plant Pathology

Roshani Baral – MS student
Research Focus: Botrytis management in blueberries
Start Date: Spring 2022

Purnima Puri – MS student
Research Focus: Biology and management of silver scurf disease of potato
Start Date: Summer 2022

Mary Steele – PhD student
Research Focus: Understanding fungicide resistance profiles of blueberry fruit rot pathogens
Start Date: Fall 2023


Dr. Louie Nottingham, Department of Entomology

Person posing with colorful flowers.

Adriana Barsan – MS student
Research Focus: Impact of crop rotations on arthropod communities in terms of resilience, localized diversity, and area-wide recruitment of beneficial arthropods.
Start Date: Summer 2023

Molly Sayles – PhD student (Wenatchee)
Research Focus: Advancing Extension Programs for Pear IPM and Development of Novel Monitoring Techniques
Start Date: Fall 2021

Claire Winslow – MS student
Research Focus: Berry Integrated Pest Management (IPM), specifically for spotted-wing drosophila flies
Start Date: Spring 2024

Small Fruit Horticulture

Dr. Lisa Wasko DeVetter, Department of Horticulture

Salena Helmreich – PhD student in Entomology (co-advised)
Research Focus: Pollination of highbush blueberry and wild bees
Start Date: Fall 2021

Laura Webb – MS in Ag student
Research Focus: Optimizing plant care in a changing climate
Start Date: Spring 2023

Ben Weiss – MS student
Research Focus: Hydromulching in berry crops
Start Date: Spring 2023

Aidan Williams – MS student
Research Focus: Biobased mulch and outreach for organic small fruit systems
Start Date: Fall 2023

Soil Health

Dr. Deirdre Griffin LaHue, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Madeline Desjardins

Madeline Desjardins – PhD student
Research Focus: Soil health impacts of biosolids amendments, cover cropping, and grazing in dryland systems of central Washington.
Start Date: Summer 2021

Evan Domsic

Evan Domsic – PhD student
Research Focus: Relationships between soil health & quinoa nutritional quality.
Start Date: Summer 2021

Nayab Gull

Nayab Gull – PhD student (co-advised by Dr. Lisa DeVetter)
Research Focus: Impacts of soil-biodegradable plastic mulches on soil health and horticultural outcomes in strawberry systems
Start Date: Summer 2023

Kwabena Sarpong – PhD student
Reseach Focus: Assessing soil health and the relevancy of soil health indicators across major specialty crops in Washington state.
Start Date: Spring 2020

Annah Young

Annah Young – MS in Ag student
Research topic: Impacts of perennial grains on soil health
Start date: Spring 2022

Soils & Water

Dr. Gabriel LaHue, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Paul Martinez

Paul Martinez – PhD student
Research Focus: Impacts of soil health management practices on the physical and chemical properties of soils and on grain quality.
Start Date: Fall 2022

Jessica Mulvey – MS in Ag student
Research Focus: Biofortification and ex-situ conservation for crop micronutrient content
Start Date: Spring 2021

Sahil Thapa

Sahil Thapa – MS student (co-advised by Dr. Lindsey du Toit)
Research Focus: The effect of irrigation and nitrogen management on the bacterial diseases of Onion.
Start Date: Fall 2023

Claire Yost

Claire Yost – MS student in Soil Science
Research Focus: Reduced Irrigation and regulated deficit irrigation for cider apple production.
Start Date: Fall 2022

Vegetable Horticulture

Dr. Carol Miles, Department of Horticulture

Seth Brawner

Seth Brawner – MS student
Research Focus: Mechanized hedging and harvest of cider apples.
Start Date: Fall 2022

Alex Cornwall

Alex Cornwall – PhD student (Pullman)
Research Focus: Identifying Lactuca sp. with genetic barcoding and taxonomy and gene exploration of wild relatives of Lactuca sativa.
Start Date: Fall 2020

Laura Schulz

Laura Schulz – PhD student
Research Focus: Sweetpotato traits for production in western Washington
Start Date: Spring 2023

Srijana Shrestha – PhD student
Research Focus: Developing tea plant propagation methods for nursery production in Washington.
Start Date: Fall 2022

Jordan White – MS student
Research Focus:
Start Date: Summer 2024

Vegetable Seed Pathology

Dr. Lindsey du Toit, Department of Plant Pathology

Marilen Nampijja – PhD student
Research Focus: Management of Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata in table beet and Swiss chard seed production.
Start Date: Spring 2020

Zephyr Papin-Tillery

Zephyr Papin-Tillery – MS in Ag student
Research Focus:
Start Date: Summer 2022

WSU Breadlab

Dr. Stephen Jones, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Merri Metcalfe – PhD student
Research Focus: Accessibility, quality, and affordability of grain-based products from Western Washington with an emphasis on making nutritional food more available within our communities.
Start Date: Fall 2018

Robin Morgan – PhD student
Research Focus: Exploring the intersections between breeding and baking.
Start Date: Fall 2018

Louie Prager – PhD student
Research Focus: Breeding colored barley for malting, with a focus on varieties for organic agriculture.
Start Date: Summer 2020

Laura Valli – PhD student
Research Focus: The agronomic and social aspects of rye in western Washington.
Start Date: Spring 2019

Completed Students


Laura Flandermeyer – MS (2024)
Thesis Title: Sampling and management of X-Disease phytoplasma and vectors


Kayla Brouwer – MS (2023)
Research Focus: Pollination of highbush blueberries

Stephanie Crane

Stephanie Crane – MS in Ag (2023)
Research Focus: Management of Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata in table beet and Swiss chard.

Alexandre Dias da Silva

Alexandre Dias da Silva – Visiting PhD student (Departed 2023)
Research Focus: Understanding the timing of calcium accumulation in raspberries to better inform calcium fertilizer programs

Ann Kowenstrot

Ann Kowenstrot – MS in Ag (2023)
Research Focus: Rhubarb Research in Alaska and Recommended Varieties for Commercial Production.

Kayla Spawton – PhD (2023)
Research Focus: The ecology and management of Stemphylium leaf spot of spinach.

Harmony Varner

Harmony Varner – MS (2023)
Thesis Title: Irrigation scheduling for high-value annual specialty crops in the face of climate change: Two research approaches.


Alex Batson – PhD (2022)
Dissertation Title: The genetic basis of pathogenicity to spinach of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. spinaciae.

Tessa Belo

Tessa Belo – MS (Spring 2022)
Thesis Title:

Alec Blume – MS in Ag (Summer 2022)
Thesis Title: Impact of soil fumigants on potato microbial communities


Sam Chronert – PhD (2022)
Dissertation Title:

Aiden Kendall

Aidan Kendall – MS (Spring 2022)
Research Focus: Developing resource-efficient cider apple production systems.

Qianwen Lu – PhD (Spring 2022)
Dissertation Title: Advancing Floricane Raspberry Nutrient Management in the Pacific Northwest.

Brenda Madrid

Brenda Madrid – MS (2022)
Thesis Title:

Molly McIlquham

Molly McIlquham – MS (Spring 2022)
Thesis Title: Calibrating Soil Health Metrics for Washington State’s Primary Wine Grape Growing Region.

Xuechun May Wang

Xuechun “May” Wang – MS (Spring 2022)
Thesis Title: Soil-biodegradable mulch in a double cropped strawberry and lettuce system and implications on splash dispersal of Botrytis cinerea.


Pinki Devi – PhD (2021)
Dissertation Focus: Propagation methods to increase the grafting success of watermelon and rootstock resistance to Verticillium dahliae.

Cheyenne Sloan

Cheyenne Sloan – MS (2021)
Thesis Title: Nitrogen Supply from Soil Organic Matter: Predictors and Implications for Nutrient Management in Northern Highbush Blueberry

Toby Una – MS (2021)
Thesis Title: Winter Cover Crop Suitability for Improved Soil Health in Northwestern Washington



Amit Bhasin – MS (2020)
Thesis Title: Evaluating and optimizing fertilizer sources/rates in Organic Blueberry production in central Washington.

Yixin Cai – MS (2020)
Thesis Title: Machine harvesting comparison and optimization of machine harvest intervals in fresh market blueberry.

Ryan Solemslie – MS (2020)
Thesis Title: Cold season tolerance and prevalence of seedling blights in sweet corn in the Columbia Basin of Washington.

Huan Zhang – PhD (June 2020)
Dissertation Title: Studying the application of biodegradable mulches in tissue culture red raspberry.


Abigail Attavar – MS (Spring 2019)
Thesis Title: Testing the field germination of Green Leaf and Cos lettuce seeds in cold conditions, in four locations across the U.S.

Billie Juan Espejo – MS in Ag (2019)
Thesis Title: The development of bioassays to test antifungal activity of bacterial strains against Pythium aphanidermatum on cucumber

Weixin Gan – MS (2019)
Thesis Title: The growth conditions and cultivation management of tissue culture seedings of crabapple.

Yao Mu – MS in Ag (Spring 2019)
Thesis Title: Testing new crops for production potential in Northwest Washington.


Travis Alexander – PhD (2018)
Dissertation Title: The postharvest quality implications of mechanically harvesting cider apples for growers and hard cider makers.

Fairuz Buajaila – PhD (2018)
Dissertation Title: Comparing poultry manure to commercial mineral fertilizers for nutrition and fruit quality of grafted and non-grafted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L) in high tunnels.

Shuresh Ghimire – PhD (2018)
Dissertation Title: Efficacy of different biodegradable mulches on pumpkin yield and quality, and mulch biodegradability in Northwest Washington.

Wiharti Purba – PhD (Fall 2018)
Dissertation title:


Matthew Arrington – PhD (Fall 2017)
Dissertation Title: Optimization of pollination and fruit set in blueberry: Flower morphology, alternative pollinators, and nutrient supplementation

Shannon Carmody – MS (2017)
Thesis Title: Management of the seedborne phase of light leaf spot (Cylindrosporium concentricum) and white leaf spot (Pseudocercosporella capsellae) in brassica crops.

Sahar Dabirian – MS (Spring 2017)
Thesis Title: Optimizing watermelon grafting to control Verticillium wilt in Washington.

Rachel Rudolph – PhD (Fall 2017)
Dissertation Title: Management strategies for Phytophthora rubi andPratylenchus penetrans in floricane red raspberry in the Pacific Northwest

John Weber – MS (2017)
Thesis Title: Management of white mold in sunflower seed crops in the semi-arid Columbia Basin of central Washington.


Abby Beissinger – MS (Fall 2016)
Thesis Title: Proactive Approaches for Managing Potato virus Y in Western Washington.

Robin Taylor – MS (2016)
Thesis Title: Quantification of Food Policy Groups within the Puget Sound Region.


Kelly Ann Atterberry – MS (2015)
Thesis Title: Nutrition Education and School Garden Projects with K–12 Students to Promote Consumption of Dry Beans.

Brook Brouwer – PhD (2015)
Dissertation Title: Plant breeding for regional food systems: investigating craft malt, disease resistance and production potential of barley and dry beans in western Washington.

Louisa Brouwer (Winkler)

Louisa Brouwer (neé Winkler) – PhD (2015)
Dissertation Title: Building the genetic, agronomic and economic foundations for expansion of oat cultivation in western Washington.

Charlene Grahn – MS (2015)
Thesis Title: Direct market production of baby-leaf salad greens during spring and fall seasons in Western Washington.

Alexandra Valeria Swidergal – MS in Ag (Fall 2015)
Thesis Title: Techniques for Evaluating Verticillium Wilt Resistance in Rootstocks Potentially Useful for Tomato Grafting

Jesse Wimer – MS (2015)
Thesis Title: Grafting Watermelons to Manage Verticillium Wilt in Washington State.


Eric Christianson – MS (2014)
Thesis Title: Screening carrot germplasm for resistance to Xanthomonas hortorum pv. carotae.

Jeremy Cowan – PhD (2014)
Dissertation Title: Impacts of High Tunnels and Bio-Degradable Mulch Systems on Tomato Yield and Quality.

Ziduan (Paul) Han – MS (2014)
Thesis Title: Assessing the damage potential of the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans on raspberry varieties.

Caitlin Price Youngquist – PhD (2014)
Dissertation Title: Agricultural use and community acceptance of biosolids compost produced at a rural waste water treatment plant.


Ana Vida Alcala – PhD (2013)
Dissertation Title: Management of Damping-off in Organic Vegetable Production in the Pacific Northwest.

Charles Coslor – MS (2013)
Thesis Title: Effects of Neonicotinoids on Adult and Immature Drosophila suzukii in the Laboratory and in an Experimental Blueberry Field.

Jeffery Endelman – PhD (2013)
Dissertation Title: Advances in Barley Genomics: Association analysis, Breeding values, and Consensus mapping.

Emily Gatch – PhD (2013)
Dissertation Title: Increasing the Capacity for Spinach Seed Production in the United States by Promoting Soil Suppression of Fusarium Wilt.

Karen Hills – PhD (2013)
Dissertation Title: Improvement of Small Grains Grown in Western Washington.

Amy Salamone – MS (2013)
Thesis Title: Effects of Temporary Flooding Rotations on Rhizoctonia solani AG-3 and on Soil Bacterial Communities in Western Washington


Yushan (Sherry) Duan – MS (2012)
Thesis Title: Benefits of Cane Burning to Red Raspberry in the Pacific Northwest.

Sacha Johnson – MS (2012)
Thesis Title: Grafting Vegetables for Resistance to Verticillium dahliae.

Lucas Patzek – PhD (2012)
Dissertation Title: Root Disease and Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Cereal/Vegetable Production Systems in Washington.

Marianne Powell – MS (2012)
Thesis Title: Biodegradable Mulches for Specialty Crops Produced Under Protective Covers.



Callie Bolton – MS (2011)
Thesis Title: Organic Weed Control in a Newly Established Vineyard.

Jessica Gigot – PhD
Dissertation Title: Root Health Management in Raspberries (PhD, 2011)
Thesis Title: Transmission of Phytophthora infestans on Volunteer Potato Tubers (MS, 2006)

Jennifer Niem – MS (2011)
Thesis Title: Effects of flooding on survival of Sclerotinia and Verticillium in potato field soils of western Washington.


2010 and Prior

Jamie Cummings – MS (2007)
Thesis Title: Evaluation of organic seed treatments for control of seedling blight/damping-off pathogens of spinach.

Pablo Hernandez-Perez – MS (2005)
Thesis Title: Management of seedborne Stemphylium botryosum and Cladosporium variabile causing leaf spot of spinach seed crops in western Washington.