I completed my MS degree in Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University in July 2011. I obtained my BS in Biological Sciences also from NCSU in 2008, where I began working in Dr. Carbone’s lab as an undergraduate technician studying mating type idiomorphs in Aspergillus section Flavi and mitochondrial inheritance in Petromyces parasiticus. In my thesis work I examined interspecific crosses between Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus for mycotoxin diversity and genome heterogeneity.
A significant component of my work was to test methodologies to detect fungal hybrids in nature using the A. parasiticus x A. flavus interspecific cross as a model system. As part of my thesis work I tested various tools implemented in the SNAP Workbench Portal for multidimensional scaling of data as well as explored new approaches for detecting admixture and hybridization among closely related species. The data generated from my thesis work will be a useful resource to further test new methods that quantify the magnitude of admixture and hybridization in nature.