Robyn Jasper, a mentor for SEED Scholars, is a graduate candidate in microbiology in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. As an East coast transplant, they have spent most of their academic career involved in mentorship programs. Programs like Meyerhoff have been crucial to their success and science identity, so they aim to carry forward those favors given to them by working with programs like SEED. With an interest in continuing in academia, Robyn hopes to help others see the strength in community while realizing and actualizing individual goals.
They are conducting their thesis work in the Ryan Lab where they study the gram negative bacteria Caulobacter crescentus. Due to its asymmetric divisions during growth, Caulobacter has historically been a model organism for studying cell cycles. Currently, the field is expanding to investigate how else this bacteria adapts to its environment, including toxin-anti toxin systems and its varied use of synthesized adhesive, holdfast. Robyn's thesis looks at a two-component system implicated in the membrane stress response of Caulobacter.