Maliheh Esfahanian is a molecular geneticist interested in evolutionary biology and plant genetic adaptations to their environments in the face of climate change. Esfahanian received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Illinois State University in the laboratory of Dr. John Sedbrook, where she used CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing techniques to rapidly domesticate the emerging oilseed crop, pennycress (Thlaspi arvense). She earned her B.S. in Plant Breeding and her M.S. in Plant Biotechnology in Iran and continued her research as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her PhD, she worked as an intern for the start-up company, CoverCress Inc., and contributed to interdisciplinary research as a member of the USDA-funded Integrate Pennycress Research Enabling Farm and Energy Resilience (IPREFER) project and the DOE-funded Integrated Pennycress Resilience Project (IPReP). Outside of the lab, Mali enjoys cooking/baking, gardening/growing house plants, and nature.