Born and raised in the grasslands of the Willamette Valley just outside Corvallis, OR Colin Curwen-McAdams grew up gardening. After graduating from the University of Oregon in Environmental Science he worked in seed production, orcharding and organic farming. A love of baking, seed and agriculture brought him to Mt Vernon to work with Dr. Stephen Jones on a PhD in Plant Breeding focusing on perennial wheat and breeding for novel seed traits in wheat.
Bethany Econopouly is a current PhD student at the Mount Vernon Research Center studying wheat breeding for improved nutrition and baking quality. Prior to joining WSU, Bethany worked as a Research Analyst for the Agricultural Development’s Research & Development team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has a M.S. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Colorado State University where she used population genetics to study the invasion history of jointed goatgrass into the western U.S. and analyzed the risk of gene flow between this agricultural weed with wheat. At CSU she also worked in a plant evolutionary ecology lab completing lab work for a comparative genomic analysis of Mimulus cardinalis populations, as well as a veterinary clinical immunology lab screening for lymphoma and leukemia using PCR and flow cytometry based assays. She received a B.S. from UMass, Amherst in microbiology. Her return to graduate studies was driven by a love for science and research and a passion for improving agricultural livelihoods and nutrition in the U.S. and abroad.
Brigid Meints grew up in Corvallis, OR and developed a love for plants at a young age. She earned a BA from Scripps College in Anthropology and Gender & Women’s Studies, but found her way back to plants after graduation when she began working for the barley breeding program at Oregon State University. She earned her MS from OSU in Crop Science with a focus in Plant Breeding & Genetics. Starting in the Fall of 2014, she began working towards a PhD under the direction of Dr. Stephen Jones. Her project focuses on breeding and trialing barley and dry beans for production in northwestern Washington.