2021 IPREFER Undergraduate Research Experience

We have completed our selection for our 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience. We want to congratulate our new class and thank all the students who took the time to apply. We were extremely impressed by the size and quality of the applicant pool. We encourage everyone who applied in 2021 to try again next year. We anticipate taking applications early in 2022. Please follow our website and our Twitter account (@IPREFER_CAP) for news on the 2022 Undergraduate Research Opportunity.

These 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience (IPS-URE) students will work throughout the summer of 2021 with IPREFER research team members to develop pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) as an eco-friendly biofuel crop for agroecosystems in the Midwest. IPREFER researchers will provide mentoring and research training opportunities and activities for these undergraduates. We look forward to our students interacting with scientists from diverse fields, including individuals with commercial interests in plant-based biofuel development. 

The IPS-URE goal is to help students gain technical skills and interdisciplinary competencies, which will equip them for work on bio-based solutions to food, energy, and environmental challenges. For additional information, contact Anne Kinzel, IPREFER Program Manager (anne.kinzel@iprefercap.org)

Claire Biel

Claire Biel IPREFER Undergrad Intern

Claire Biel (University of Minnesota / Plant Science) is working with IPREFER collaborator Ratan Chopra to use gene-editing technologies for new trait development in pennycress. Specifically, they will focus on:

  • Identify candidate genes that affect the important agronomic or quality traits in pennycress.
  • Screen for agronomic traits such as seed size, flowering, height, branching, etc.

Claire will present her work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post her presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Claire will update us at the end of the summer.

Issac Goldman

Isaac Goldman 2021 IPREFER Intern

Isaac Goldman (University of Minnesota / Supply Chain & Operations Management) is working on developing commercial supply chains for winter oilseed cash cover crops. His mentors are IPREFER Collaborators Connie Carlson & Colin Cureton (UMN). Issac will present his work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post his presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Issac will update us at the end of the summer.

Juan Gonzalez

Juan Gonzalez 2021 IPREFER Intern

Juan Gonzalez (Virginia Tech / Environmental Horticulture & Crop/Soil Sciences ) will be working at CoverCress, Inc. during the summer of 2021. Juan will present his work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post his presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Juan will update us at the end of the summer.

Alex Hafner

Alex Hafner (Illinois State University / Molecular & Cellular Biology) is working with IPREFER collaborator Bill Perry (EcoSystem Services) to:

  • Assess pennycress impacts on reducing nutrient flux, nitrogen, and phosphorus, from subsurface drainage throughout the year.
  • Determine abundance and diversity of pollinating insects of pennycress, which flowers earlier than most other plants.
  • Measure pennycress forage resources (pollen & nectar) for pollinators and characterize the health of both individual honey bees and colonies near pennycress fields.

Alex will present his work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post his presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Alex will update us at the end of the summer.

Terryn Hutchings

Terryn Hutchings 2021 IPREFER Intern

Terryn Hutchings (Missouri State University / Environmental Plant Science) will be working at CoverCress, Inc. with Michaela, McGinn, Ph.D. looking into the downregulation of glucosinolate transport receptors and their effect on plant health and sinigrin accumulation in pennycress.

Terryn will present work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post the presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Terryn will update us at the end of the summer.

Marshah Menos

Marshah Menos 2021 IPREFER Intern

Marshah Menos (University of Florida / Plant Science) will work with IPREFER collaborator Ratan Chopra to use gene-editing technologies for new trait development in pennycress. Specifically, they will focus on:

  • Identify candidate genes that affect the important agronomic or quality traits in pennycress.
  • Screen for agronomic traits such as seed size, flowering, height, branching, etc.

Marshah will present work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post the presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Marshah will update us at the end of the summer.

Caleb Mesick

Caleb Mesick 2021 IPREFER Summer Intern

Caleb Mesick (University of Minnesota / Marketing (Food Science) will be working on developing commercial supply chains for winter oilseed cash cover crops. His mentors are IPREFER Collaborators Connie Carlson & Colin Cureton (UMN). Caleb will present work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post the presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Caleb will update us at the end of the summer.

William Rice

William Rice 2021 IPREFER Intern

William Rice (University of Minnesota / Plant Science – Plant Breeding) will be working with IPREFER collaborator Cody Hoerning (UMN). The research’s main goal is to determine the plant-pest interactions with the pathogen soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and emerging winter oilseed pennycress. William will also be involved in actively screening and breeding for genetic resistance in pennycress.

William will present his work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post the presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! William will update us at the end of the summer.

Ross Sousa

Ross Sousa 2021 IPREFER Intern

Ross Sousa (University of Maine / Botany) is working on improving stand establishment of pennycress in the fall with IPREFER Project Director Win Phippen. Ross will present his work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post the presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Ross will update us at the end of the summer.

Kyle Verhoff

Kyle Verhoff IPREFER 2021 Intern

Kyle Verhoff (The Ohio State University / Sustainable Plant Systems) will be working with IPREFER collaborator Alex Lindsey to characterize pennycress growth and development and identify phenotypic stage progression. Kyle will present his work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post the presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Kyle will update us at the end of the summer.

Raymond Wilmes

Raymond Wilmes 2021 IPREFER Intern

Raymond Wilmes (Iowa State University / Agronomy & Horticulture (Research) will be working with CoverCress, Inc. lean Chris Aulbach nvestigating how fertilizers such as Milorgante, urea, and ammonium sulfate impact the germination of GA treated CoverCress.

Raymond will present his work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post the presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Raymond will update us at the end of the summer.

Tommy Wood

Tommy Wood 2021 IPREFER Intern

Tommy Wood (Western Illinois University / Agricultural Science) is working with IPREFER Project Director Win Phippen to improve the quality and seed yield of pennycress in the spring with minimal nitrogen application. Tommy will present his work at the August 2021 IPREFER annual meeting, at which time we will post the presentation to the website.

The most important thing I have learned in my internship: Stay tuned! Tommy will update us at the end of the summer.