Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
Sustainable Plant Systems - Plant Biosciences
Avery Brewer’s most valuable learning experiences came in Dr. Cooperstone’s lab, where she is currently completing her senior research thesis. There she maintains tomato plants for her research project. The interdisciplinary nature of the lab’s work appealed to her, and she appreciates the independence she has been afforded in designing her own projects. In the lab, she has learned the finer points of experimental design and research logistics, and regularly meets with Dr. Cooperstone to discuss ongoing experiments and plan new ones.
The summer after her freshman year, Avery served as a crew member for Southwest Conservation Corps in Colorado. She traveled the state contributing to the organization’s conservation efforts, helping on projects including restoring historic ranger stations, building ADA accessible trails, and cutting a reroute on the famous Continental Divide Trail. “The work was hard and wonderful,” reflected Avery, “and left me with a better understanding of myself and the natural world.” The experience numbered among her most enjoyable as an undergraduate.
In 2020 and 2021, Avery interned at Ikove Capital and Matrix Meats in Central Ohio, where she learned about the cutting-edge industry of lab-grown meats. In her role she gained perspective on the intersection of business and science, learning about start-up companies and the world of product research and development. In the summer of 2021, she worked at Corteva Agriscience in Des Moines, Iowa. There she found her greatest sense of accomplishment in a project that tested the specificity of a novel Cas nuclease; upon completion of the project, she presented her findings to the company’s Genome Editing Group. While at Corteva, Avery set and accomplished numerous personal goals, participated in lab work and fieldwork, and cultivated meaningful professional relationships with managers and mentors.
As a member of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholars Leadership Council, Avery led the organization in engaging Columbus entrepreneurs, scheduling speakers and interviewing guests; she helped facilitate and organize events for members and guests, attended Philanthropitch, and oversaw the establishment of Launchpad OSU, an experiential learning program for student entrepreneurs.
Avery identifies Dr. Jess Cooperstone as her most important mentor, sharing, “Dr. Cooperstone’s lab is very interdisciplinary, and I love seeing the way she and the graduate students synthesize ideas and applications across horticulture, food science, and nutrition. I feel infinitely more prepared for graduate school after working in Dr. Cooperstone’s lab and getting to participate in lab meetings, assist with experiments and other projects, and complete my thesis. Dr. Cooperstone has been so generous towards me with her time and resources and I’m so happy to get to acknowledge her for the impact she has made on my college career.”
A double major in philosophy, Avery will graduate in December 2022 and plans to apply to PhD programs with the following cycle, aspiring to find a program where she can combine the studies of crop science, evolutionary biology, and ecology. Before beginning a PhD program, she plans to travel and work on her German.
Service, involvement, and accolades: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholars, leadership council | iGEM competition | Pi Alpha Xi Horticultural Honors Society | STEP Program