Recognizing Plant Direct first authors: Kaisa Kajala

Kaisa Kajala, first author of Real‐time whole‐plant dynamics of heavy metal transport in Arabidopsis halleri and Arabidopsis thaliana by gamma‐ray imaging

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Plant Ecophysiology, Utrecht University

Education: University of Cambridge (BA, MA, PhD), postdoctoral training at University of Western Australia and University of California Davis

Non-scientific Interests: Knitting, board games, traveling

Brief bio: My main research interest is the development of specific cell types, but I cannot resist an interesting collaboration like our publication at Plant Direct! During my PhD and my first postdoc, I studied how gene expression was restricted in mesophyll and bundle sheath cells in C4 leaves. My postdoctoral project at UC Davis focused on cell type-specific gene expression patterns across multiple regulatory levels in tomato roots, and how water stress cues affect these patterns. In my group at Utrecht University, we have projects that integrate environmental signals (such as drought, light and touch) into plant development.