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An interdisciplinary connection

CAFNR student Tessa Jennings is making the most of her undergraduate research opportunities.


student working in lab

For the past two years, Tessa Jennings, a junior majoring in plant sciences, has worked in the lab of Antje Heese, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry.


Oct. 29, 2020

Tessa Jennings, a junior plant sciences major from Ashland, Missouri, found a passion for plant sciences as a high school FFA student participating in career development events. That passion has continued to grow as a student at the University of Missouri – especially after being selected as a member of the Freshman Research in Plants Program in 2018.

For the past two years, Jennings has worked in the lab of Antje Heese, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry.

“Being able to work in Dr. Heese’s lab has been one of the greatest things about my college experience,” Jennings said. “A standout experience for me is being able to see how all of my experiments come together when I am putting together my research presentations. Also, I really like being able to form relationships with my lab members and with other people who I meet through lab events.

Jennings’ undergraduate research work showcases CAFNR’s “RISE” Initiative, which includes research, international, service learning and experiential learning. Jennings’ work falls under the research section, which opens the door for undergraduate students to gain research experience throughout their time in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“Doing undergraduate research has helped me prepare for my future career in many ways,” Jennings said. “I have learned several techniques that are used in industry. I have learned how to analyze and present my data. I have also become more confident in my abilities to perform research and am becoming more independent.”

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