Katie Toomey

Name: Katie Toomey

Hometown:  Houston, Texas

Year in School: Graduate Student (Ph.D.)

Katie Toomey

In her own words ...

Where are you from, and why did you choose to study at UGA/CAES?
I am from Houston. I chose UGA CAES because of the cooperative community and interdisciplinary research goals.e.

What is your major/degree program, and what department?
I am getting a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics at the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics.

Why did you choose your major?
I want to use genetics and biotechnology to improve crop health for the future. The skills I will learn in my lab and classes will make allow me to achieve this.

What is your favorite class you have taken?
My favorite class so far is functional genomics with Dr. Tsai.

Who has been your favorite instructor?
Dr. Tsai & Dr. Smith are both wonderful at garnering students' attention and introducing thought-provoking questions.

What has been the best experience you've had so far at CAES?
So far, my favorite event has been the Plant Center Fall Retreat. It was a good opportunity to see others' research and to exposed to speakers from across the country.

What do you want to do with what you have learned here?
I want to work in industry to use biotechnology and plant breeding to improve plant health.

How has your experience at UGA changed you?
While I am still in the early stages of my degree, I can definitely say that I am gaining confidence an independent researcher while also expanding on my collaboration skills.

Thinking of the word agriculture - what does agriculture mean to you? In what ways does agriculture impact your life and your culture?
Agriculture is finding the best ways to create food, fiber, and fuel with the least amount of resources and impact to the environment. This impacts my life because as the population grows, I feel the pressure to be better stewards of the Earth and to use all available tools to improve agriculture.

What do you like to do outside of class — hobbies, interests, secret talents?
I like to read books, knit/crochet, bake, learn Spanish, play the flute, and do agility training with my dog.