Zenith earned his B.S. in Biology from Truman State University where he worked on the molecular and histological characterization of novel mutants in maize as part of the Janick-Buckner Lab. He is now pursuing a PhD in Plant Breeding and Molecular Genetics at the University of Minnesota under Dr. Gary Muehlbauer. His current work focuses on the positional cloning and functional analysis of different glossy mutants in barley using genetic and genomic approaches. He is also performing genome wide association studies on a barley advanced backcross nested association mapping population (AB-NAM) for resistance conferred by alleles from wild barley against fusarium head blight (FHB), a major fungal disease for Triticeae in Minnesota and other barley and wheat growing regions around the world.