Background: B.S. Biology University of Utah 2012
Research: Todd’s research is concerned with identifying how plants avoid the damaging effects of arsenic, a toxic metalloid, and understanding the genetic controls behind those mechanisms. When such mechanisms are understood, researchers and breeders can develop plant varieties that prevent arsenic from entering our food chain. Rice, for example, stores higher levels of arsenic in the seed (the part we eat) compared to other crops. This a major concern for the billions of people who depend on rice in their diet. Todd is currently studying a family of genes that express transport proteins when arsenic is sensed inside root cells.
Experience: Todd has participated in several research translation events and workshops including the Alan Alda workshop for communicating science and a Science Pub on arsenic in food and mercury in fish that had record attendance of 50 people.