Amanda De La Torre (Lab PI) is an Assistant Professor at the NAU School of Forestry. She obtained her PhD from the University of British Columbia (Canada), and later worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Umea University (Sweden), and the University of California-Davis. As a forest geneticist, Amanda is interested in understanding how long-generation trees adapt to changes in their environment, using tools in genomics, transcriptomics, physiology, and epigenomics. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and painting.

ResearchGate GoogleScholar

Manoj Kumar is a postdoc researcher with interests in metagenomics, genomics approaches, epigenomics, microbial responses to environmental conditions, population structure, biodiversity and evolution, RNA-Seq, GWAS data analysis and bioinformatics. He has gained extensive experience in analyzing biological data, developing research proposals, writing research articles, and preparing reports in detailed and scientific manner. Additionally, he has gained experience to excel in both independent and team-oriented environments. In addition, in his leisure times he likes playing sports and exploring natural places. ResearchGate

Kailey Baesen (Lab Manager) is interested in genomic approaches to evolutionary biology, bioinformatics and population structure. Over the course of her undergraduate, she had developed deep interests in plant genetics and understanding the natural world around her through a genetic lens. She hopes to use her experience studying biology to help answer questions about how migration, selection and genetics all shape the world around us. In her free time, you can probably find her in a bookstore, at farmers’ market, or cooking a nice meal with friends.

Sharon Holtaway (Undergraduate Researcher) is studying her BS at the NAU School of Forestry. Her research interests include genetic resistance to tree and plant pathogens and diseases. She would like to learn more about increased productivity through genetic modification in agriculture and agroforestry settings. She is also interested in biodiversity changes due to climate along with the rapid adaptation of exotic invasive species.

Amanda Fitzhugh is a HURA research award recipient and a senior undergrad student studying for her bachelors in Forestry. She has a deep-rooted interest in forests and learning more about what the natural world has to offer. When she is not studying for class she is hiking in remote places of Arizona, Colorado, and Alaska, writing to hopefully someday publish a novel, and drawing anything and everything.


Benjamin Wilhite (MSc student, graduated April 2021)

Matthew Weiss (MSc student, graduated July 2020)

Bobin Liu (Visiting Researcher from Fujian Agricultural University, China)

Samuel Compton (undergraduate student, Forestry, graduated April 2021)

Charles Stackpole (undergraduate student, Env. Sciences)

Benjamin Covington (undergraduate student, Forestry)

Seth Hendrickson (undergraduate student, Biochemistry, graduated April 2021)

Morgan Henson (undergraduate student, Forestry)

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