The Dickinson Lab strives to uphold the UC San Diego Principles of Community and the University of California’s initiative for diversity, equity, and inclusion. We support all people, no matter their race, ethnicity, cultural background, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, and political affiliations. We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to equality, justice, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Alexandra Jazz Dickinson


Jazz Dickinson received her PhD in chemistry from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She conducted her post-doctoral research in developmental plant biology with Prof. Philip Benfey at Duke University. She has also served as a visiting scientist at Stanford University and is a recipient of the Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, the Boka W. Hadzija Award for Distinguished University Service at UNC-CH, and the Ruth L. Kirschstein Graduate Fellowship Award. She joined the UCSD faculty in 2020 to pursue research in small molecule regulation of development.

Tao Zhang


Tao is a postdoctoral scholar at UCSD interested in uncovering the small molecules that regulate Arabidopsis roots development.

Rupak Timilsina


Rupak is interested in multidisciplinary approaches to understand the regulation of growth and development of root system architecture in plants.

Nathan Stutzman


Nathan is a PhD student in the department of biological sciences at UC San Diego. Nathan is interested in uncovering the mechanisms of de novo root organogenesis in Arabidopsis as a response to wounding. 

Andrea Sama


Andrea is a PhD student in the Biological Sciences at UC San Diego. Andrea has a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Wellesley College. She is interested in understanding the mechanisms of root development, and is focusing on how environmental stress impacts metabolite profiles in Maize and Arabidopsis roots. 

Abigail Tripka


Abby is a Chemistry PhD student in the chemistry and biochemistry department at UC San Diego. Abby is working to uncover the chemical regulators controlling plant root development.

Gabrielle Meza


Gabrielle is a PhD student in the Biological Sciences department at UC San Diego. She received her B.S in Genetics and Plant Biology from UC Berkeley in 2020. Gabrielle is utilizing algae to uncover the biosynthesis and regulation of the small molecule, retinal, within plants to better understand the growth and development of root systems in plants.

Casey Cheng​


Casey is a Master’s student who studies how the novel apocarotenoid hormones affect maize roots. Casey received her B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She is interested in metabolic biochemistry and education research and plans to pursue a career in the biotech industry. In her free time, Casey likes to explore San Deigo, swim, and surf.

Amman Klair


Amman is a master’s student in the department of biological sciences. Amman has a B.S. in General Biology with a minor in Chemistry from UC San Diego. He is interested in further pursuing a career in research.

Jesus Peng


Jesus is a third year undergraduate lab assistant pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry with a minors in Environmental Systems at UC San Diego. Jesus is interested in the biochemical mechanisms and genetics of plants and looks forward to continue pursuing a career in research.

Xavier Glaude


Xavier is a third year undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Human Biology at UC San Diego. Xavier is interested in the mechanisms of oscillating gene expression in plants and how they regulate root development. He plans to pursue a career in research related to genetics or epidemiology.

Photos by @joy_portinga

Past Members

Thank you for all your work!

Joseph Stagg


Joe joined UCSD in 1994 as a staff research associate in the Biology Undergraduate Teaching Labs. In July 2020, Joe joined the Dickinson lab as lab manager, helping to get the lab up and running.

Jennifer Rodriguez


Jenny joined us in 2021 as an undergraduate lab assistant. She was pursuing a B.S. in molecular and cell biology with plans to continue engaging in the field of biology through a career in medical research.