Congratulations to these 25 College of Agriculture, Food and Environment students for receiving the College's Undergraduate Research Grant.

Funding for this award was provided by the UK Vice President for Research and the UK Office of Undergraduate Research. Questions may be directed to Tom Hanna, Assistant Director for the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. 

Research in our College

Undergraduates can get involved as early as their freshman year...

Student Opportunities

List of Awardees:

William Blitch,
Natural Resources and Environmental Science student from Lexington, KY
Advisor: Mark Coyne, Plant and Soil Sciences

William will apply his funding towards a professional development conference in Portland, Oregon with the Geological Society of America. 


Bridget Bolt,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Gilberts, IL
Advisor: Carlos Rodriguez-Lopez, Horticulture

Bridget plans to apply her funding to attend the Plant and Animal Genome conference in San Diego. At the conference, she will present her research findings from her UK Summer 2020 Sustainability Fellowship.


Caitlynn Bryant,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Sebastian, FL
Advisor: Carrie Shaffer, Veterinary Science

Caitlynn will apply her funding for the required materials for her undergraduate research project to fulfill her ABT 301 and ABT 395 course requirements. This research project focuses on equine infectious disease and microbial pathogenesis.  


Michael Buoncristiani,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Monticello, KY
Advisor: Ramon Sun, Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry

Michael plans to use the funding for essential supplies needed to complete laboratory research. This current research will be presented at conferences in the future. 


Kristin Carlton,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Spring Hill, TN
Advisor: Sarah D'Orazio, Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Genetics

Kristin plans to use funding for lab materials for her project which explores a unique strain of Listeria and its affects on the brain. 


Katie Chheang,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Elizabethtown, KY
Advisor: Olga Tsyusko, Plant & Soil Sciences

Katie aims to use her funding for her ABT research project which explores the effect of Au nanoparticles and ZnO NP and Klebsiella on C. elegans.


Benjamin Clements,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Morganfield, KY
Advisor: Carlos Rodriguez-Lopez, Horticulture

Benjamin will apply his funding towards high quality Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) on harvested soybean samples. This gathered data will be used to improve future crop yields.


Megan Dakoske,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Loveland, OH
Advisor: Paul Vijayakumar Animal & Food Sciences

Megan plans to use her funding for undergraduate research supplies. This research will be used for data for microbiology in food applications. 


Catherine Esparza,
Sustainable Ag & Community Food Systems student from Helotes, TX
Advisor: Elisa D'Angelo, Plant & Soil Sciences

Catherine will use her funding run genetic tests on microcystin found within contaminated water samples which will inform better farm management practices on eutrophication.


Sarah Fields,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Lexington, KY
Advisor: Evangelia Kalaitzoglou, Pediatrics

Sarah plans to use her funding to attend the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) annual meeting in Chicago, IL. At the meeting, she will present her research findings under the supervision of Dr. Eva Kalaitzoglou.


Sundus Ghuneim,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Lexington, KY
Advisor: Analia Loria, Pharmacology & Nutritional Science

Sundus will apply her funding to attend the Experimental Research annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA. The information gained at this meeting will be applied to her undergraduate research project abstract. 


Caleb Gooden,
Ag & Medical Biotechnology student from Hurricane, WV
Advisor: Arthur Hunt, Plant & Soil Sciences

Caleb will use his funding for further progression towards his undergraduate research project. This project will allow for extended understanding of biochemical and metabolic processes. 


Jordan Hinton,
Dietetics student from Fenton, MO
Advisor: Julie Plasencia, Dietetics & Human Nutrition

Jordan will apply her funding towards continuing her research project that will be of assistance to healthcare professionals. This research will help improve the future of dietary acculturation. 

Joseph Ison,
Agricultural & Medical Biotechnology student from Richmond, KY
Advisor: Luke Moe, Plant & Soil Sciences

Joseph will use his funding to complete a research project investigating how particular bacteria in soil may enhance hemp growth. 


Malia Jones,
Animal Sciences student from Johnstown, OH
Advisor: Tayo Adedokun, Animal & Food Sciences

Malia plans to use her funding to complete avian (bird) research with Dr. Tayo Adedokun.


Amy Joubert,
Agricultural & Medical Biotechnology student from Johannesburg, GP, ZA
Advisor: Bjoern Bauer, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Amy's funds will be used to purchase laboratory tests as she investigates rat epilepsy models and human epilepsy patients. 


Grace Perrin,
Animal Sciences student from Alpharetta, GA
Advisor: Tayo Adedokun, Animal & Food Sciences

Grace will use her grant for a poultry research project at the College's poultry research facility on Coldstream Farm. 


Liza Reid,
Agricultural & Medical Biotechnology student from Milford, OH
Advisor: Garrett Owen, Horticulture

Liza's grant will be used to purchase technology for an economic and carbon footprint analysis for greenhouse cucumbers at the College's South Farm. 


Courtney Shields,
Agricultural & Medical Biotechnology student from West Chester, OH
Advisor: Kendall Corbin, Horticulture

Courtney will use her funds to attend a professional development conference on genome sciences and subsequent costs associated with her future lab work.  


Henry Smith
Agricultural & Medical Biotechnology student from Lagrange, GA
Advisor: Nicole Gauthier, Plant Pathology

Henry's funding will be used to attend an American Phytopathological Society conference, a leading organization for plant pathologists, where he will also present his research.


Alexander Stewart
Agricultural & Medical Biotechnology student from Clearfield, KY
Advisor: Phillip Skipwith, Biology

Alexander's grant will support his travel and specimen collections as he completes an evolutionary analysis on Kentucky salamanders.


Grant Walles,
Agricultural & Medical Biotechnology student from Lexington, KY
Advisor: Robert Hirsch, Plant Pathology

Grant will use his funding to investigate pest management practices for the White Cabbage Butterfly and explore organic alternatives that are both effective and ecologically responsible. 


William Rich,
Horticultural Science student from Glasgow, KY
Advisor: Garrett Owen, Horticulture

William's funds will be used to purchase equipment needed to characterize nutrient disorders for Kentucky vegetable growers. 


Annabelle Wilson,
Agricultural & Medical Biotechnology student from Franklin, TN
Advisor: Nicholas Teets, Entomology

Annabelle will use her grant to attend the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.