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Assistant Professor

Grey Monroe is an Assistant Professor at the University of California Davis, where his team explores the dynamic intersection of genome biology and plant evolution. His academic background, including a Ph.D. from Colorado State University with John McKay and a postdoctoral tenure at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology with Detlef Weigel, has laid a foundation for his current research. At UC Davis, in the  Department of Plant Sciences, Genome Center, and Climate Adaptation Research Center,  his lab leverages emerging sequencing technologies to aid breeders of understudied crops, understanding gene loss in plant climate adaptation, and investigating the role of epigenome-recruited DNA repair in mutation rate variation. Grey values collaboration and the collective pursuit of knowledge to tackle fundamental questions and applied challenges in plant genomics.

262 Robbins Hall | gmonroe@ucdavis.eduTwitter | CVGoogle Scholar


Chaehee Lee

Postdoctoral Researcher

Chaehee is an evolutionary biologist interested in plant systematics and comparative and evolutionary genomics. He completed his Ph.D. in Plant Biology with Bob Jansen from the University of Texas at Austin where he studied the evolution of highly divergent organellar genomes in plants. Currently, he is working on the pan-genome in genetically diverse collections of Pistachio and ultimately creating a multi-genome reference for Pistachio. He is also interested in the dynamics of mutation in plant genomes. | Google Scholar

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Evan Long

Postdoctoral Researcher

Evan graduated with a B.S. in Developmental Biology from Brigham Young University, where he stayed to complete an M.S. in Genetics and Biotechnology, studying cotton structural genomics using optical mapping.  He then obtained a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Cornell University where he studied genetic load in cassava using comparative evolution.  Evan’s interests are in using evolution to uncover genomic elements responsible for adaptive traits for use in agricultural applications.  The focus of his current project is detecting alleles responsible for temperature adaptation in cassava landraces among the clones from the highlands and lowlands of Colombia.  He is supported by his loving wife and two daughters.

Google Scholar

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Kevin Bird

Postdoctoral Researcher

Kevin Bird completed his PhD at Michigan State University with advisors Patrick Edger and Robert 
VanBuren. He is now an NSF Plant Genome Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Monroe and Kliebenstein labs studying the evolutionary origins and consequences of gene regulatory networks.

Google Scholar | Twitter

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Mariele Lensink

Integrative Genetics and Genomics PhD Student

Mariele graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2019 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in computational sciences. Before coming to UC Davis, she worked in a plant genomics lab at the Salk Institute where she contributed to projects such as the Harnessing Plants Initiative. She is now pursuing a PhD in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics graduate group studying gene networks and expression-related mutation as they relate to plant development and adaptation. Mariele is co-advised with Dan Kliebenstein. |  Google Scholar

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Daniela Quiroz

Integrative Genetics and Genomics PhD Candidate

Daniela received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello in Chile. She worked in the development of new breeding technologies in fruit crops in the National Institute of Agricultural Research in Santiago de Chile. Since 2019 she has been a Ph.D. student in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics program. During her first and second years, she studied epigenetics in plant-virus interaction in grape berries at the Viticulture and Enology Department. She is currently interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms behind the mutation bias in plants.


Elton Kane

Plant Biology Graduate Group Masters Student

Recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) with a BS in General Biology, philosophy minor. While at UMB I studied the population genetics and evolution of common dandelions. Currently, I am a Masters student in the Plant Biology Graduate Group. My interests have expanded to include studying adaptive loss/gain-of-function mutations with a functional application towards plant breeding to generate biofortified and abiotic stress tolerant crops, with additional research interests in creating combined crop-climate models. Elton is co-advised with Christine Diepenbrock.

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Kehan Zhao

Plant Biology Graduate Group PhD Student

Kehan received a Bachelor's degree in Plant Science and Technology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Plant Biology Graduate Group at UC Davis. He is interested in loss-of-function mutation and its role in plant adaptation to climate change.


Alice Pierce

Plant Biology Graduate Group PhD Student

Alice is a first year PhD Student in the Plant Biology Graduate Group. She graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Biotechnology with a specialization in Plants and a minor in Computational Biology. During her undergrad she worked in the laboratory of Alan Rose to study the effects of Intron-Mediated enhancement on gene expression. Her current research interest is to understand the effects of stimulatory introns on gene body mutation rates.


Matt Davis

Plant Biology Graduate Group PhD Student

Matt graduated from the University of Florida (UF) in 2020 with a BS in Biology, specializing in Biotechnology and minoring in Entomology. At UF, he worked in the Blueberry Breeding Program characterizing parental genotypes for population breeding and determining the ideal in vitro lighting conditions for genetic transformation in southern highbush blueberry. He is a first year PhD student in the Plant Biology Graduate Group and is interested in studying plant genetics and adaptation to climate change.

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Lissandro Ortega

Undergraduate researcher

Lissandro is a NSF California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) scholar at UC Davis majoring in Biochemical Engineering and is studying the mechanisms underlying targetted DNA repair in plants. 

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Sydney Wren

Undergraduate Assistant

I am an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis pursuing a degree in Forensic Chemistry with a minor in Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity. I am interested in evolutionary genetics and developing methods for DNA extraction and sequencing.

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Alissza Ali

Undergraduate Student

Alissza is studying Global Disease Biology and is currently working on an independent project to study genetic variation in mutation bias.

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Megan Lorenc

Undergraduate Student

Megan is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences at UC Davis. She is interested in a variety of subjects in the field of biology and is currently working on whole genome sequence data in Pistacia vera.

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Jacie Cheng

Undergraduate Student

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Nick Kaiser

Undergraduate Student

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Kimberli Toy

Undergraduate Student


Andrea Moron-Solano - NSF California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) Scholar

Lea Berg - Visiting Scholar University of Bonn, Germany

Camryn Morey - Undergraduate Intern, University of California San Diego

Harrison Yu - Undergraduate Intern, Mission College Santa Clara

Ian Anderson - Research Intern and Rotating Integrative Genetics and Genomics PhD Student

Forrest Li - Rotating Integrative Genetics and Genomics PhD Student

Daniela Trippa - Visiting International Scholar, Universidad de estudios de Palermo, Italy

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