Rachael Ann DeTar: The Plant Cell first author

Rachael Ann DeTar, first author of Loss of inner-envelope K+/H+ exchangers impairs plastid rRNA maturation and gene expression

Current Position: Ph.D. student

Education: I graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Colorado State University (CSU, Fort Collins, CO) in 2014. I then joined the Molecular Plant Sciences (MPS) graduate program at Washington State University (WSU, Pullman, WA) in the fall of 2015. I have done the bulk of my Ph.D. research in the lab of Dr. Hans-Henning Kunz. I successfully defended my Ph.D. thesis in March of 2021.

Non-scientific Interests: I enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities, including hiking, backcountry camping, Nordic skiing, and paddle boarding. I am also a fan of art museums and bluegrass music.

Bio: My interest in science was sparked when I took chemistry and biology classes in high school from two very inspirational teachers. Prior to that, I was considering a career in publishing. When I was studying for my bachelor’s degree at Colorado State, I had the privilege of doing undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Pilon-Smits, where I developed an interest in plant physiology and ionomics. When I began my graduate studies, I realized I really enjoyed learning new methods and techniques, so I challenged myself by taking on a bioinformatics project which culminated in our recent paper published in The Plant Cell. What I like most about plant science is that it is an interdisciplinary and international field. Through my work, I have been fortunate to meet many people with unique life stories and connect with them over science. Furthermore, it has allowed me to travel and see new places. I hope to continue this experience by finding a postdoctoral research position outside my home country of the United States. Additionally, I want to continue learning and honing my skills in bioinformatics and big data analysis, particularly on projects related to chloroplasts, photosynthesis, and plant abiotic stress tolerance.