Taproot S6E1: May I Have Your Attention, Please? Searching for Causal Mutations and for Institutional Support

In this episode, our guest is Dior Kelley, an assistant professor in the Genetics, Development and Cell Biology department at Iowa State University. Dior received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2000, and her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California Davis in 2009 before doing an NIH Postdoctoral fellowship with Jeff Long at the Salk Institute and a second postdoc with Mark Estelle. She joined her department as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in 2015 before moving to her current role in 2019.

Dior describes “slim shady is a novel allele of PHYTOCHROME B present in the T-DNA line SALK_015201”, which was published in Plant Direct last year. We also discuss the ways in which the already precarious position of the pre-tenure faculty member with kids was exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. We talk about the limitations of giving pre-tenure faculty an extra year to tenure, the challenges of a dual professor couple, and what institutions could be doing–but typically AREN’T–to support young faculty. We hope this conversation helps move us towards solutions both specific to the challenges of the pandemic, but also to more general challenges of young families on the tenure track.

How to listen, download and subscribe to The Taproot podcast

Read Episode Transcript


Linkan Dash , Robert E McEwan , Christian Montes, Ludvin Mejia, Justin W Walley, Brian P Dilkes, Dior R Kelley. slim shady is a novel allele of PHYTOCHROME B present in the T-DNA line SALK_015201. Plant Direct (2021) 5:e00326. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34136747/

Eminem-The Real Slim Shady https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJO5HU_7_1w

Ben Barres  video about giving  tenure  at  hiring (start around 3:45) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be0KULrnD6E

Laura Helen Petersen substack “The Expanding Job”. https://annehelen.substack.com/p/the-expanding-job


Twitter Handles 

Dior Kelley Twitter @KelleyDior

Liz Haswell Twitter @ehaswell

Ivan Baxter Twitter @baxtertwi

Taproot Podcast Twitter @taprootpodcast


The Taproot is the podcast that digs beneath the surface to understand how scientific publications in plant biology are created. In each episode, co-hosts Liz Haswell and Ivan Baxter take a paper from the literature and talk about the story behind the science with one of its authors.

Subscribe to The Taproot podcast on iTunes , Stitcher, or Spotify.

Questions, feedback, suggestions?  Contact us at taproot@plantae.org.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *