María Fernanda Gómez Méndez, first author of “Ice plant root plasma membrane aquaporins are regulated by clathrin-coated vesicles in response to salt stress”
Current Position: Lab assistant in Dr. Dahesh Lab at UC Riverside
Education: BCs in Morelos State Autonomous University, Mexico. Master degree and PhD candidate at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
Non-scientific Interests: Assemble miniature crafts, collect earrings, and watch anime or cooking shows with my family while drinking a cup of coffee while the dogs sleep.
Brief bio: My interest in plant biology began when I, as a Biology major, first met the resurrection plant Selaginella lepidophylla. It was extremely interesting to me witnessing Selaginella’s ability to go from a mess of dry leaves to a beautiful fully-living plant in the span of just hours after applying some water. From that moment on, I wanted to study and learn about the mechanisms that plants use to deal with abiotic stress. I have had the opportunity to study metal transporters involved in heavy metals accumulation in Nicotiana tabacum during my BCs degree. Later I started my work with Mesembryanthemum crystallinum aquaporins and salt stress, with the aim of expanding and contributing to the knowledge of the mechanisms used by these highly specialized plants. I am in the process of obtaining my Ph.D. from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and I am currently studying plant stress responses at the metabolite level using a mix of genetic approaches and LC-MS at the University of California Riverside. I believe that understanding the differences between the tolerance mechanisms of canonical model plants such as Arabidopsis and non-model plants is pivotal to finding traits that will lead to solutions to the agronomic challenges that we face today.