Danielle Stevens, Coaker Lab
580 Hutchison Hall
University of California, Davis
95616 Davis, CA
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I was introduced to plant pathology working for Dr. Jeff Chang in the Botany and Plant Pathology Department at Oregon State. Admittedly, the introduction was by accident and not something I was interested in at first. During my undergraduate, I worked toward a degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics thinking I would work in the medical field.
During this time, I was mentored by many amazing graduate students and postdocs as I worked toward characterizing virulence genes in the Gram-positive actinobacterial pathogen, Rhodococcus fascians. There, I slowly fell in love with bacterial pathogens, particularly Gram-positive plant-associated actinobacteria.
Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence Symposium in 2018.
Eventually, I decided to do work abroad and with a little help, I was offered the opportunity to work at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology for Dr. Eva Stukenbrock in Ploen, Germany. At the time, I had only been outside the U.S. once as a kid. While three months is not long, it was one of the most influential experiences of my life.
The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology.
I feel very blessed to have met so great people along the way who are both my mentors, colleagues, and dear friends. I knew that despite my initial reluctance, I was on the right path. After graduate school interviews, I ended up at UC Davis to join the Coaker lab with the goal of working on bacteria of the Clavibacter genus, another Gram-positive actinobacterial pathogen. Now, I use my broad experiences to tackle major questions regarding Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. I use genetics, genomics, biochemistry, and an evolutionary perspective to understand a relatively understudied genus of bacteria.
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 2019 International Conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
If you want to know more about my current projects, check out the research tab of this website.
I am hopeful that in the future I can one day run my own lab and mentor students, inspiring them to uncover the black box of nature and themselves in the process, just as my many mentors have done for me.
Infamous delicate arch in Utah, USA.