Rachel M. McCoy: Plant Direct First Author

Rachel M. McCoy, first author of “Allelopathy as an evolutionary game”

Current Position: Postdoc in Dr. Ying Li’s lab at Purdue University

Education: Ph.D. in Horticulture (Purdue University); B.S. in Biology (University of Evansville)

Non-scientific Interests: cats, gardening, baking, traveling, python

Brief bio: 

During my bachelor’s degree at the University of Evansville, I took a class about plants and people that opened my eyes to the incredible diversity of specialized metabolites made by plants and I’ve been fascinated by the way plants use chemistry to interact with their environment ever since. I earned my Ph.D. in Horticulture at Purdue University in Dr. Josh Widhalm’s lab. I worked on juglone, an allelopathic chemical made by black walnut, and phylloquinone, the primary metabolite it is derived from. This paper started as a project for a class I took in grad school with Dr. Gord McNickle. I’d been working on juglone for a while and wondered about the circumstances surrounding the evolution of allelopathy and decided to model it. After my Ph.D., I moved to Dr. Ying Li’s lab at Purdue University for a postdoc. In the Li lab I’ve been studying alternative transcript isoforms, epigenetic regulators, and nitrogen response in Arabidopsis. In the fall, I’ll be starting as an assistant professor of biology at St. Norbert College.