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Harmer Lab

Lab members

Stacey Harmer, PhD

Position: Principal Investigator

Bio: Stacey Harmer is a Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at UC Davis. She was awarded a BA in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in Biochemistry at UC San Francisco. She then moved to a postdoctoral scholar position at the Scripps Research Institute. Her research focuses on the plant circadian clock, addressing both the molecular nature of the oscillator that generates daily rhythms and aspects of plant physiology affected by the circadian system. She is particularly interested in exploring relationships between clock, light, and growth signaling pathways. Her recognitions have included a Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellowship, an NIH National Research Service Award, an American Society for Photobiology New Investigator Award, the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences Faculty Research Award, and the UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellowship.


Cassandra Baker

Position: Graduate Student

Bio: When Cassandra Baker was young, she learned the basics of equine coat color genetics and it drew her in. To continue learning about genotypes and phenotypes, she studied Genetics as an undergraduate at UC Davis and then continued at UC Davis in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics graduate group. As a Ph.D. candidate in the Harmer lab, she researches the circadian clock in Arabidopsis thaliana, a model plant, and she is excited to continue improving her understanding of the complexities of genetics and genomics research.


Chris Brooks, PhD

Position: Graduate Student

Bio: Chris Brooks is a PhD candidate in the Plant Biology Graduate Group, and he is interested in how the circadian clock and environmental stimuli interact to control plant growth and development. He studies this by looking at the molecular mechanisms that underlie heliotropism, the solar tracking behavior that sunflowers are famous for. Outside of the lab, Chris like spending his time watching and playing sports and taking advantage of the beautiful California weather.


Carine Marshall

Position: Post-Doctoral Scholar

Bio: Carine Marshall received her PhD in 2017 from UC Berkeley, where she studied the interaction between temperature and the Arabidopsis circadian clock. When she is not researching plants, she helps her husband grow plants on their small farm in the Capay Valley. She also loves to spend time with her son, Albie, and her two dogs.


Veronica Thompson

Position: Graduate Student

Bio: Veronica Thompson is a PhD candidate in the Plant Biology graduate group. She studies circadian regulation of floret development in sunflower. In her spare time she likes baking cookies and exploring the neighborhood with her dog.


Hongtao Zhang

Position: Graduate Student

Bio: Hongtao Zhang is a PhD student in the Plant Biology Graduate Group. He is interested in understanding how plants integrate their internal cues with environmental factors. Now he is using molecular and genetic approaches to study the function of Arabidopsis circadian clock genes in plant physiology and immunity. Hongtao is a crazy soccer and tennis fan, and he also loves cooking in his spare time.


Lab alumni

Nicky Creux

Position: Senior Lecturer

Bio: Nicky Creux was a post-doctoral scholar in the Harmer Lab. She is now a Senior Lecturer with the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute and the Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Pretoria.


Rod Kumimoto

Position: Vice President, Research and Development

Bio: Rod Kumimoto was a post-doctoral scholar in the Harmer Lab. He is now Vice President of Research and Development at Innerplant.


Akiva Shalit-Kaneh

Position: Post-doctoral scholar

Bio: Akiva Shalit-Kaneh was a post-doctoral scholar in the Harmer Lab. He is currently completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Penn State, and will soon become a group leader at the Gilat Research Center for Arid & Semi-Arid Agricultural Research, Volcani Center.


Hagop Atamian

Position: Assistant Professor

Bio: Hagop Atamian was a post-doctoral scholar in the Harmer Lab. He is now an Assistant Professor in the Schmidt College of Science and Technology at Chapman University. His lab website is here.


Yuyan An

Position: Associate Professor

Bio: Yuyan An was a visiting scientist in the Harmer Lab. She is now an Associate Professor in the College of Horticulture at Nanjing Agricultural University.


Valentina Fanelli

Position: Post-Doctoral Scholar

Bio: Valentina Fanelli was a visiting graduate student in the Harmer Lab. She is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Department of Soil Science.


Jennifer Gray

Position: Free-lance Science Writer

Bio: Jennifer Gray was a graduate student in the Harmer Lab. She is now a free-lance science writer.


Matt Jones

Position: Lecturer

Bio: Matt Jones was a post-doctoral scholar in the Harmer Lab. He is now a Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex. His lab website is here.


Polly (Yingshan) Hsu

Position: Assistant Professor

Bio: Polly Hsu was a graduate student in the Harmer Lab. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and Molecular Biology, at Michigan State University. Her lab website is here.


Shajahan Anver

Position: Research Associate

Bio: Shajahan Anver was a graduate student in the Harmer Lab. He is now a research associate in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College, London.


Cory Ellison

Position: Patent Agent

Bio: Cory Ellison was a graduate student in the Harmer Lab. He is now a patent agent in the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster.


Reetika Rawat

Position: Team Leader

Bio: Reetika Rawat was a post-doctoral scholar in the Harmer Lab. She is now a team leader at Corteva Agriscience.


Mike Covington

Position: Chief Technical Officer & Co-Founder

Bio: Mike Covington was a post-doctoral scholar in the Harmer Lab. He is now Chief Technical Officer at Amaryllis Nucleics, a company that he co-founded.


Ellen Martin-Tryon

Position: Scientist

Bio: Ellen Martin-Tryon was a graduate student in the Harmer Lab. She is now a scientist at CoverCress, Inc.