Happy to “Bee” Here!

Hi y’all, my name is Autumn Busbee and I am the newest research assistant at the Frost!

Autumn Busbee standing in between rows of soybean plants.

Outstanding in the field (of soybeans). Photo by Autumn Busbee (CC BY 2.0). Click for source.

Since I was a child, my dad and my mema (that’s Southern for grandmother) fueled my passion and respect for the natural world. My dad always stopped for injured animals on the side of the road, carefully moving them to safety or taking them home to care for them as they healed. My mema taught me to appreciate the beauty of plants, as well as how to grow them.

When I went off to college, I found it difficult to choose a major. After taking a plant physiology course, however, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to major in biology. Inspired by my family, I took courses that focused on ecology, plant science, and environmental science. I also founded a horticulture club! I graduated from the University of South Carolina Aiken in May of 2015 with a B.S. degree in Biology.

Photo of Autumn with her father and mema after graduation ceremony

Heartfelt family photo with my dad (John) and mema (Jimmie). Photo by Autumn Busbee (CC BY 2.0). Click for source.

Since the fall of 2013, I performed research under the supervision of Dr. C. Nathan Hancock. My research was focused on evaluating the “jumping” abilities of the DNA transposon mPing in Arabidopsis thaliana and Mimulus lewisii. In the summer of 2014, I participated in a NSF-funded internship at the University of Nebraska Lincoln where I learned how to perform plant tissue culture and transformation under the supervision of Dr. Tom Clemente.

A photo of Autumn and her undergrad mentor Dr. Hancock.

Introducing: Dr. Hancock, my fantastic undergrad mentor! Photo by Autumn Busbee (CC BY 2.0). Click for source.

When it came time to apply for graduate school, I didn’t know what kind of program I wanted to apply to. I decided to wait, and instead search for a job that would utilize my degree while expanding my knowledge of the natural world. I am so thrilled to be at the Frost! Although I have never worked with insects, it has been very fulfilling so far. I look forward to sharing my experience here with all of you and making connections along the way!

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