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Sep 16
New Episode of Microgreens! Meet Podcast Cohost Elizabeth (Tess) Deyett


Microgreens Episode 4 is the first of a three-part series featuring Jennifer Lewis, an adjunct professor at the University of California Berkeley. Lewis leverages the field's current knowledge in genetics and bioinformatics to discover potential methods to fight the devastating citrus greening disease, also known as huanglongbing (HLB).

Listen to the podcast here or find Microgreens on your preferred podcast platform, where you can subscribe to be notified when the next episode comes out in September. Keep reading to meet podcast cohost Elizabeth (Tess) Deyett.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you got involved in Microgreens?

Hi, I'm Elizabeth (Tess) Deyett, Ph.D. I'm a current postdoc at the University of California Riverside. I work as a bioinformatician and data scientist exploring plant-microbe interactions. During the start of the pandemic, I grew increasingly aware of the scientific literacy crises in the world, so I started my own science communication business and later started my own podcast The Microbe Moment. Around this time, I was also given the opportunity to become an assistant feature editor for the Phytobiomes Journal and MPMI journal. It has been a wonderful experience so far.

In these roles, I have been able to develop not only my writing, editing, and reviewing skills but had the chance to cohost the Microgreens podcast. I love learning about the ways microbes affect our world, whether it be through crops or the environment. More importantly, I love learning about the researchers behind these discoveries. Being a cohost of Microgreens gives me the opportunity to engage with researchers throughout the MPMI community and share their stories with all of you! My life goal is to research the limitless potential of the microbial world and share the unique microbe moments everyone has.

2. You're involved with two podcasts—what draws you to this medium?

I've been listening to podcasts for about six years now, and it is a wonderful platform to learn something new while you are commuting to work, working out, or cleaning around the house. It allows me to escape from some of these mundane tasks and make these moments feel more meaningful. For me, podcasts have made me feel less isolated throughout the pandemic, broadened my horizons, and taught me a lot about the world in which we live.

Being a podcaster is like being a storyteller—you're an entertainer with the goal of educating. I hope as a podcaster, I am helping others the same way my favorite podcasts have helped me, even if it's just helping others get through the dishes. I really do hope that if you are listening to the Microgreens podcast it helps you feel a little more connected and part of the MPMI community.

3. Who should listen to your three-part series on Jennifer Lewis?

The three-part series on Jennifer Lewis, while short, is extensive in its reach and really has something for everybody. The first part is on her research using comparative genomics to find novel ways to combat the devastating citrus pathogen HLB. I found Jennifer Lewis to not only be a great researcher, but an amazing person with some wonderful initiatives. This is more than a story about how science can save the citrus industry. It's a story about how Jennifer Lewis manages her lab, not for the sake of surviving the "publish or perish" system, but for the sake of inspiring and mentoring the next generation of scientists. It's a story about how she promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in her lab as the foundation of scientific excellence. Even though this is a three-part series on a single researcher, each episode is unique, with a different tone and message. I think everyone in academia, especially plant scientists from undergraduate students to tenured professors, will enjoy listening to this series.

4. What's next for Microgreens?

Raka Mitra and I are very excited for what's next for Microgreens! One of our biggest projects is creating podcasts for each of The Top 10 Unanswered Questions in MPMI. The first episode of this series is already out, and you can listen to it here. We will have one podcast exploring each of the Top 10 Unanswered Questions in MPMI. These podcasts will be released throughout the remainder of 2021 and 2022—if you don't want to miss them, make sure you subscribe to Microgreens on your favorite podcast app or follow us on Twitter: @MPMIMicrogreens.​

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