Meet Amelia Griffith

Meet Amelia Griffith

Amelia Griffith is the newest member of the MU Drought Team. She was brought on to  help advance prior research conducted by Dr. Robert Sharp’s lab focused on how the nodal roots in corn are able to waterproof themselves and keep growing, even under drought stress.

As an undergraduate studying biochemistry at the University of Delaware, Griffith started working with plants through a plant and soil science lab, where she spent two years studying arsenic uptake in rice. 

“I really enjoyed that project, so I decided that research was something I wanted to continue with in the future.” Griffith said. “I’ve never worked with corn before, but I worked with rice for a long time and when I went to graduate school, I didn’t want to work with rice anymore. I wanted something new.” 

Griffith is currently pursuing a master’s degree in plant science with a focus in genetics and breeding. While graduate school wasn’t originally her plan, she decided to pursue a Master’s degree to help her with a future career in research, after being encouraged by her supervisors in her lab in Delaware. She was drawn to Mizzou’s program because of its resources and collaboration between different disciplines. 

“They have to ability to connect the different disciplines, to have biochemistry people working with plant science and working with soil science and biology — it’s all interconnected which I thought was really cool and different,” Griffith said. 

Griffith’s interest in plant science stems from being able to study various systems of a plant on an individual level, as well as take a broader lens and examine the plant as a whole.

“I like that you get to see different aspects, from growing the plant from a seed and taking care of it while it grows, but then also breaking it down into little pieces like either focusing on metabolomics or genetics to see what is happening on smaller levels, but then also see the bigger picture,” Griffith said.

Though she originally saw herself working indoors in a lab setting, Griffith enjoys the varying day to day routines of agriculture research. 

“Some days I’ll be outside or in a greenhouse planting and taking care of plants and others I’ll be in the lab preparing or running samples for analysis,” Griffith said. 

After graduation, Griffith is considering getting a Ph.D. and working in academia, or pursuing a career in the industry working with plant breeding and agriculture.

“I do want to continue working with food crops in the future because I think it is important for food security, and I think it’s just a cool job,” Griffith said.

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