Mersedeh Pejhanmehr earned her B.S. in plant biology and her M.S. in plant systematics in Iran. She received her Ph.D. in plant systematics at University of Hawaii at Manoa in the laboratory of Dr. Cliff Morden, where she studied Sida (Malvaceae) phylogeny and population genetics using NextGen sequencing. Her studies determined true Sida species, and Central and South America as the center of diversity of the genus. Also, her studies showed that different morphological forms of Sida fallax represents only one species in the Pacific area and three main population groups in the Hawaiian Islands. As a postdoc in Dr. Matt Evans lab, she is working on the evolution and population genetics of cross-incompatibility systems in maize and teosinte. Her study focuses on investigation the factors that prevent maize and it’s wild cousin teosinte from cross pollinating. Outside of the lab, Mersedeh enjoys reading books, meditation, cooking, doing yoga, and walking in nature.