Recognizing Plant Cell authors: Trevor Nolan

Trevor Nolan, first author of Brassinosteroids: Multi-Dimensional Regulators of Plant Growth, Development, and Stress Responses

Current Position: Postdoc in the laboratory of Philip Benfey, Duke University and HHMI

Education: Ph.D. in Genetics from Iowa State University

Non-scientific Interests: photography, CrossFit, spending time with my wife and kids

Brief bio: While attending an undergraduate genetics course he was teaching at Iowa State University, I met Steve Rodermel, a charismatic educator who loved talking about the experiments underpinning our understanding of genetics. After getting to know Steve, I began working in his lab studying chloroplast biogenesis in Arabidopsis. I was mentored by Aarthi Putarjunan (then a graduate student in the Rodermel lab). Together, Aarthi and Steve shared their passion for research and discovery which solidified my decision to become a scientist. I went on to pursue my Ph.D. in Genetics at Iowa State with Yanhai Yin. During this time, Yanhai and Hongqing (Michelle) Guo imparted their fascination of plant hormone signaling and the tools necessary to dissect the underlying mechanisms on me. By working with an interdisciplinary team of engineers, computer scientists and statisticians, we made several discoveries that revealed the molecular basis for how growth mediated by Brassinosteroids is balanced with drought stress responses. As a postdoc in Philip Benfey’s group at Duke, I’m working to understand spatiotemporal responses to stress in Arabidopsis and rice roots using cutting-edge tools including single-cell genomics and microscopy. Our goal to is identify cell-type-specific regulators that can improve plant survival during stress without a detrimental effect on plant growth and productivity.