Lab Members

Professor Simon Gilroy

Likes getting his hands dirty in the garden and making people laugh. Simon recently spend a year on sabbatical at the Kennedy Space Center. Simon regularly designs spaceflight experiments with NASA and loves sharing his passion for science with the general public with organization's including local National Public Radio (NPR), Science, National Geographic, the NewYork times, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and was recently interviewed for Japanese television.

Warning! His passion for science is infectious as is his laugh!

Dr. Sarah Swanson

Is awesome on every microscope (Electron, Confocal, Epifluorescence and even Fold Scope), keeps everything in the lab working to schedule and enjoys playing the flute in her spare time. She is the veteran of multiple spaceflight experiments including TOAST, TOAST2, and TOAST3 aka APEX05. She is currently planning future mission code named BLASTOFF, TICTOC and SPECTRUM.

She is the Director of the Newcombe Imaging Center at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Dr. Richard Barker

This space cadet love plants, genetics and bioinformatics almost as much as his dog's Simba and Savannah. He is the Co-chair of the NASA Plants Advanced Working Group (AWG) and a member of numerous other NASA GeneLab collaborative working groups.

He is the co-founder of The Collaborative Science Environment and www.AstroBotany.com .

Dr. Arko Bakshi

This blood thirsty MMA warrior is not afraid of anything! He loves demonstrating his bravery when samples return from the International Space Station &/or Kennedy Space Center. Arko's PhD was focused on the molecular response of Arabidopsis thaliana to ethylene signaling. When Arko is not in the labortory or dojo he can often be found on the stage performing in traditional Indian musical and cultural shows.

"Johnny" Sarah Johns

Johnny is a Ph.D. student in the lab who's research project will one day help ensure healthy astronauts land on Mars. When she isn't dreaming of space travel she's either practicing the art of genetic engineering or teaching Zumba down the UW-Madison Dance Studio.

Ariel Sorg

Ariel is a Ph.D. student in the lab who's currently battling with a plant killing robot. She hopes her research will enable us to understand how plants naturally defend them selves. When not trying to ensuring our civilization can continue to feed itself in the future Ariel can be found in the realms of Dungeons and Dragons.