Sarah Miller

Version 2Sarah Miller is a Ph.D. candidate in the Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management department. Her research focuses on understanding how plants combat drought stress to facilitate the development of water-wise crops in the face of a changing climate and an increasing worldwide population. Sarah previously taught high school science and it was during that period that when she became concerned that many students were unaware of agricultural issues and where their food came from beyond the grocery store. She decided that she wanted to go to graduate school to study agriculture and to improve the awareness of global sustainability issues in this discipline. Currently, she is working with Dr. Courtney Jahn and the Bioenergy Feedstock Improvement Program, which considers the multidisciplinary nature of crop improvement. She uses Sorghum bicolor, a globally important food that is a forage and fuel crop regarded for its drought tolerance, to better understand this whole-plant response. Then she measures above and below ground growth and biochemical characteristics under irrigated and drought-stressed conditions. Miller is particularly interested in the response of root growth, indicative of drought tolerance and water-smart plants. Additionally, she developed a method to characterize root exudates in sorghum (chemicals released by roots to acquire nutrients and interact with soil microbes and soil types) that contribute towards overall plant health. Her goal is to become a professor with a research focus to identify plant traits that lead to more sustainable agroecosystems and to teach future generations about the importance of global agricultural sustainability.

International Presidential Fellows