Preston Lab - Plant Evolution & Development

Department of Plant Biology, University of Vermont



Principle Investigator

Dr. Jill Preston,

Jill received her BSc. in Biological Sciences from Edinburgh Napier University, and her MSc. in Plant Genetic Manipulation from the University of Nottingham. She arrived in the US to do her PhD. in Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics at the University of Missouri - St. Louis with Dr. Toby Kellogg, and then carried out a post-doc in the lab of Dr. Lena Hileman at the University of Kansas. She started her own lab at UVM in September 2012.

Research technician

Stacy Jorgensen,

Stacy received her BS. in Plant Biology at UVM, and then went on to do her MS. in Plant Biology with Dr. Dave Barrington, where she studied the evolutionary history of species within the fern genus Polystichum. Once finished, Stacy moved next door to the Preston lab as a research technician. She is now working on the evolution of growth habit in the North American yellow monkeyflower Mimulus guttatus.

Graduate student

Suryatapa Jha,

Suryatapa received her BSc. and MSc. in Botany from Presidency College in Kolkata, India. She started as a PhD candidate in 2012 and is currently doing a rotation in the Preston lab. Sury is working on functionally characterizing the SOC1-like putative flowering time genes in Petunia hybrida.

Graduate student

Meghan McKeown,

Meghan received her BA in Biology from Carroll College in Montana where she worked for two years as an undergraduate researcher on west nile virus. She started as a PhD candidate in 2011 and is currently working in the Preston lab on the evolution and genetics of a seasonal cold adaptation  - vernalization responsiveness - in the temperate grass subfamily Pooideae.