Athanas Guzha: Plant Physiology First Author

Athanas Guzha, first author of “Cell wall–localized BETA-XYLOSIDASE4 contributes to immunity of Arabidopsis against Botrytis cinerea

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Associate

Education: PhD Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of Goettingen Germany (In collaboration with University of British Columbia, Canada). MSc: University of Ghent, Belgium. BSc: Midlands State University, Zimbabwe.

Non-scientific Interests: Cooking, Travelling, Basketball

Brief bio: I was fortunate enough to be part of a great research team; The International Research Training Group (IRTG) 2172 PRoTECT, funded by DFG and it is a collaborative program between research groups from Georg-August-University Goettingen (Germany) and research groups of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver (Canada).  Under the mentorship of my supervisors Professors Till Ischebeck and George Haughn we focused on the role of the primary cell wall especially pectin in response to phytopathogens. During my stay in the Ischebeck lab I was also introduced to the wonderful world of plant lipids. I have since developed a great fascination in plant lipids especially their potential role as sustainable fuel alternatives. To satisfy my new curiosity I was fortunate to join the Kent Chapman lab at the University of North Texas (USA). In the Chapman lab I am currently trying to provide more insight on how potential biofuel crops can have enhanced oil yields so as to be sustainable biofuel alternatives.