Marta R. M. Lima, Assistant Professor


I have been studying plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses using an interdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on metabolomics. Specifically, I have been characterizing molecular and biochemical mechanisms of plant-pathogen interactions, plant responses to combined biotic and abiotic stresses, as well as processes involved in plant response to iron deficiency and the impact of legume iron composition on human nutrition. One major aim of my work is to elucidate changes induced by stress on overall plant metabolic pathways and translate that knowledge into practical applications. Recently, I started using metabolomics to study the relationship between nutrition and health using the neonate pig as a model. My current research focuses on the impact of external factors (biotic/abiotic stresses or management practices) on plant physiology and biochemistry, and addresses issues of crop productivity, plant health and nutrient/phytochemical composition of fresh fruit and legume species. The ultimate goal of my research program is to improve agricultural sustainability, crop quality and yield, food security, and human health and nutrition.

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Jessica Hodgkins, Undergraduate Researcher


Jessica Hodgkins is an undergraduate student in the Biomedical: Medical Microbiology B.S. program.  She has assisted research on antifreeze proteins (Varga lab 2017) and is currently assisting research on the virulence factors of Serratia marcescens (Tisa lab 2018).  She is also supporting the launch of the research program in the Lima lab (2018). Hodgkins plans to continue her education, enter the biotechnology industry, and eventually become involved with government research policy and management.