Erica McGale

Erica McGale is a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Professor Ian Sanders at the University of Lausanne, and will be attending on behalf of Ian to share the current and upcoming work of the Sanders group.

This includes field work coordinated with collaborators in Colombia. Erica received a PhD from the Max Planck of Chemical Ecology (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität) in 2020 on population-scale effects of single gene manipulation. During their PhD and since, Erica has worked with forward genetics techniques, specifically, quantitative genetic association analyses, to pinpoint genetic locations in single plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) species that are linked to complex phenotypes important for yield and reproduction of either organism. This work was performed with wild ancestors of Solanaceae crops, and continues in current projects with cassava and the model AMF Rhizophagus irregularis. Co-quantitative genetic techniques will also be used to find co-occurring loci in the cassava and model AMF genomes that may explain maximums and minimums in production, from the individual to population level, when these two agriculturally important organisms interact in the field.