Alex Susko is completing his MS degree at the University of Minnesota in Plant Breeding and Molecular genetics. His passions include improving the abiotic stress tolerance of beautiful plants, namely the ornamental genus Rhododendron. As a researcher of “orphan crops”, Alex creates and implements novel phenotyping methods that quickly quantify traits for the purpose of expediting the breeding process of woody species. Alex’s PhD research focuses on de-novo genomic approaches inRhododendron to identify targets of selection and association with environmental factors to detect locally adapted abiotic stress tolerance. Alex has helped teach both plant identification and plant breeding courses, and dreams of being a professor of plant breeding or botanical author.