Hannah Rae Thomas, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral research scientist
Faulkner Lab
John Innes Centre
Norwich, UK

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Plant Biologist, Science Communicator, Mentor

Originally born and raised in Kansas, I developed a deep appreciation for agricultural sciences. As a Ph.D. candidate in plant biology, I study the basis for graft compatibility. Grafting is the combining of two separate plant parts into a single individual. Grafting is an ancient horticultural technique that has allowed humans to propagate woody crops for thousands of years. Today, it remains a critical technique in many industries. The ability of two tissues to grow together is remarkable and poorly understood. My work focuses on signaling and cell-to-cell communication, in the framework of grafting.
In my free time, I enjoy long-distance swimming, cooking, and playing with my corgi (Tater-Tot) and cat (Sebastian).



Doctorate of Philosophy Candidate in Plant Biology
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (2017 – 2022)
Title: Understanding the Role of Intercellular Communication in Vegetable Crop Grafting
Thesis Advisor
: Dr. Margaret Frank           

Bachelor of Science in Biology
Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS (2013 – 2017)
Minor: Chemistry | Emphasis: Molecular plant biology and plant physiology
GPA: 3.98 | Credits: 156

Policy Experience

Associate Editor for the Journal of Science Policy and Governance (2021)

Executive Board Member- Advancing Science and Policy, Cornell University (2020-2021)

Cornell University Graduate Federal Relations Liaison

Legislative Activist for RISE Act (Senate)/(House) (2021)

Teaching Experience & SciComm Writing

Cornell University                                                                      
Field Crop Systems, Dr. Tim Setter (2018)
Plant Physiology, Tom Silva (2019)
Introduction to Plant Diversity and Evolution, Margaret Frank (2019)

Garden Streets
Plant Instructor and Writer
Succulents, Bonsai, and Houseplants 101 (2020-2021)


Research Experience

PhD Candidate and USDA Research Fellow                  (2018-2022)
Dr. Margaret Frank, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Understanding the role of cellular processes in vegetables grafting

PhD Intern                                                                      (2018)
Dr. Joyce Van Eck, Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY
Formal training on Solanaceous plant transformation and tissue culture

PhD Intern  (2017) 
Dr. James Giovanonni, USDA, Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY
Gene expression in Coffea arabica fruit development

Undergraduate Research Assistant (NSF REU)  (2016)
Dr. Blake Meyers, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO
Functional analysis of phasiRNA in soybean anthers

Undergraduate Research Assistant (2015-2017)
Dr. Virginia Rider, Department of Biology, Pittsburg State University
The spatial expression of the T cell homing receptor, CCR7 and T cells marker, FoxP3 are differentially regulated by progesterone and estradiol in the rat uterus

Follow my dog’s adventures!

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