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Dr. Kellee Britt-Ugartemendia
Post-Doctoral Research Associate

 

Kellee is a Florida native, born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Science with a specialization in plant pathology at the University of Florida (Gainesville) in the Spring of 2014. She moved across the U.S. to complete complete her Master of Science in Plant pathology at University of California at Davis in the Fall of 2017 and joined the citrus pathology lab for a PhD in Plant pathology at UF (expected, Fall 2021) Her PhD program was focused on viruses in Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) populations in Florida to better understand potential biological control options for Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the bacterial pathogen of Huanglongbing (HLB).

 

As a post-doc, Kellee's principal duties and responsibilities include working on various pathogens infecting economically important plants or insects in Florida by developing novel and reliable detection methods with PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR, LAMP, RPA and CRISPR-based relevant techniques. She focuses on identifying and characterizing new or emerging pathogens of citrus and their insect vectors (i.e., Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), aphids, whiteflies, etc), and gene expression profile (i.e. metagenomics, high throughput sequencing) of these hosts. She also works on the bioinformatic aspects of various ongoing projects in the Citrus Pathology program at SWFREC. In her spare time, Kellee enjoys hiking and trying new cuisines, as well as traveling to new places to learn different cultures.