Carolyn's formal training was in plant evolutionary biology at the University of Georgia. As an outgrowth of that work, she developed a novel phylogenetic software system (LumberJack) and pursued projects to resolve nomenclature and taxonomy issues (for cellular motor proteins). She has worked on data representation, access, and analysis ever since. Carolyn served as the lead scientist for the USDA-ARS MaizeGDB project for nearly 10 years then transitioned to a faculty position at Iowa State University, which she currently holds. Her main focus involves data representation, accessibility, integration, and analysis for plant phenotypic data with projects ranging from crowdsourcing image classification to creating systems to document metadata for high-throughput phenotyping experiments. Carolyn also maintains research projects that focus on ontology computing, gene editing techniques, and gaining a better understanding of how genes are regulated.
In her 'spare' time Carolyn likes to hunt, fish, and raft with her family and is a big fan of sci-fi literature and films.
1996 BA Biology, Hendrix College, Conway AR
1997 MS Biology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
2003 PhD Botany, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
2003-2005 Postdoc in Bioinformatics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
2005-2013 Lead Scientist for the MaizeGDB project, USDA-ARS, Ames, IA
2014-present Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology and Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA