Recognizing Plant Physiology authors: Kevin Lehner

Kevin Lehner, first author of VAP-RELATED SUPPRESSORS OF TOO MANY MOUTHS (VST) Family Proteins are Regulators of Root System Architecture

Current Position: USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow at Colorado State University

Education: PhD in Genetics and Genomics, Duke University

Non-scientific Interests: cooking and watching classic movies

Brief bio: I am currently a postdoc working with Dr. John McKay at CSU studying the complex interactions between genetics and environment in maize and sorghum. Specifically, we are working to understand why genotypes respond differently to drought both above and below ground. I did my PhD in the Benfey Lab at Duke University where I learned both about root development and the rich rewards that come from scientific collaborations. I was fortunate to work with Dr. Yanlin Shao and Hongzhu Zhou from Dr. Chanzao Mao’s lab on this Plant Physiology paper. The photo is of Yanlin (on the left) and I at a conference in Wuhan, China in 2017. Before starting my PhD I was lucky to work as a research technician with some wonderful and generous scientists, most prominently Dr. Sue Jinks-Robertson at Duke. Sue taught me most of the good habits that I have as a scientist (the bad ones are my own fault). I am a graduate of Santa Fe Community College and the University of Florida. In the future, I would like to work in industry or government with the twin goals of improving crop production and gaining new insights into how plants grow and respond to their environment.