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The Society of Experimental Biology feature: Liana Acevedo-Siaca

I am a plant scientist passionate about improving international food security through plant physiology and photosynthesis research. My work focuses on understanding how plants respond to excessive light stress and how that may interact with other abiotic stresses, such as heat and drought.

Have you always been interested in plants?

My dad is a botanist, so plants have always been part of my life. When I was little, I would often accompany him on field expeditions around Puerto Rico and apparently there are even some plant specimens in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum that were collected by me! Even so, I aspired to do something different and originally applied to study Environmental Science at Cornell University. But I had the great luck of signing up for a course in plant breeding and genetics that changed my entire trajectory. I was so inspired by how fundamental plant research in the lab and field could ultimately be leveraged to improve crops, give people better livelihoods and help build a better world that literally, within a week, I switched to study Plant Sciences. 

Read the full interview in the Society of Experimental Biology Spring 2023 magazine.