Group photo
Hannah Ambrose

Hannah Ambrose 
Undergraduate Student in Biological Sciences  

I am fascinated by plants and what we can learn from them, and by working with Cuscuta we can better understand the mechanisms employed by parasitic plants to survive. I love working in this lab because I get to develop new skills and learn how to properly undergo research.

Vivian photo

Vivian Bernal-Galeano 
Ph.D. Student

I am a Colombian biologist with a master in Microbiology. I have been inspired by plant-microbe interactions, and now I want to decipher the language that the parasitic plant dodder and its plant host use. I am also passionate about food security and I believe that science can improve the lives of people in developing countries.


Hope Gruszewski

I help support the many interesting research projects in the Westwood lab. My current research focuses on developing protocols for tissue culture and transformation of Cuscuta (Dodder).


Jocelyn Brown 
Undergraduate Student in Biological Sciences  

I joined this lab because I have a strong interest in genetics, I enjoy working with plants, and I get to experience conducting and presenting research in a professional setting.


Soyon Park

Soyon Park 
Senior Research Associate

My research interests are in understanding mechanisms of host-parasite interactions.

Google Scholar:




Korinne Wills 
Undergraduate in Plant and Environmental Sciences  

What I thought at first would be a simple lab maintenance job has turned into an amazing learning experience, as I get to work alongside amazing scientists who are conducting groundbreaking research in plant-parasite interactions. I think plants are some of the most interesting organisms and I am excited to be able to work with them. 


William Winstead
Undergraduate Student in Biological Sciences



May Stevens

May Stevens
Undergraduate Student in Biological Sciences






Na Zhang

Na Zhang
Visiting graduate student





Current News


Jim Westwood led a team of colleagues and students to Kenya in July, 2018 to discuss potential for linking parasite genomics research with strategies for Striga control


Kristen Clermont graduated with her Ph.D. in December: “Plasticity of Primary Metabolism in Parasitic Orobanchaceae


Weed Technology: Interference and control of ALS-resistant mouse-ear cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) in winter wheat.  Go to: DOI: 10.1017/wet.2018.69

Weed Science: Weed control in 2050: Imagining the future of weed science. Go to: DOI: org/10.1017/wsc.2017.78

Genes: Identification of differentially methylated sites with weak methylation effect. Go to: DOI: 10.3390/genes9020075

Nature: MicroRNAs from the parasitic plant Cuscuta campestris target host messenger RNAs.  Go to: DOI: 10.1038/nature25027