I'm a Ph.D. candidate in plant pathology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, researching laurel wilt, a disease affecting avocado. It is caused by Raffaelea lauricola, a fungus transmitted by Xyleborus glabratus, an ambrosia beetle presumably native to Southeast Asia. I am fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and have a strong background in experimental design and statistical analysis. In the past five years I’ve worked on projects ranging from evaluating Populus trees transformed with drought tolerance constructs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, to developing a propagation protocol for the preferred cover crop at Firestone's rubber plantation in Liberia, West Africa. My long-term career goals involve promoting sustainable agricultural growth in developing countries through crop breeding and the development of management strategies that address local challenges.