Our team

Diane R. Wang
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Diane is an Assistant Professor at Purdue University in the Agronomy Department and member of Purdue's Center for Plant Biology. She is originally from Beijing, though has lived primarily in the Northeast U.S. She completed her PhD in Plant Breeding & Genetics at Cornell University where her dissertation work on rice genomics and diversity was carried out in the tropical fields of the Philippines at the International Rice Research Institute and the (equally hot and humid!) greenhouses of Ithaca, NY. Diane then joined a Geography Department for her post-doc at SUNY Buffalo where she focused on ecophysiological modeling. Her program at Purdue bridges genetics, physiology and process-based modeling to study emergent genotype by environment interactions, especially under abiotic stress such as drought. Outside of research, Diane enjoys sailing and trail running. 

Luis Vargas
PH.D. STUDENT

Luis is a PhD student in the Agronomy Department and carries out research with Davide Cammarano and Diane Wang of Purdue and Matthew Reynolds of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Program (CIMMYT) to link remote sensing and crop modeling. He is from a town located 100 km northeast of Mexico City, Mexico. Before he came to Purdue, he was with CIMMYT's Integrated Development Program. There, he worked with information communication technologies to contribute to the CIMMYT aims to develop nutritious, sustainable, and resilient food systems to improve health and enhance livelihoods. Luis enjoys being with his two children in his free time.

Makala Hammons
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASST.

Makala is currently a Sophomore studying Agronomy at Purdue while working as an undergraduate lab/research assistant the Wang Lab. She is from the small town of Cambridge City, Indiana. Her main interest in agronomy focuses around how soil conditions impact the growth and development of plants/crops. Outside of school, Makala serves as an Agronomy Ambassador and is a member of Sigma Alpha Sorority, and in her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar and listening to music. 

Rachel Imel
M.S. STUDENT

Rachel is a Master’s student in the Agronomy Department. She is originally from Knightstown, Indiana and received her Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in Agronomy with a concentration in Crop and Soil Management. Her interests for her Master’s now focus on plant physiology and genetics in rice. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys hiking and taking care of her houseplants.

Natalie Roth
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASST.

Natalie is a junior in Natural Resources and Environmental Science with a concentration in water quality. She is from Evansville, IN. Her main interest is Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in waterways and their impact on the environment. Along with working in the Wang Lab, Natalie assists in the Hoverman Lab. Her summers are spent in Massachusetts at the USGS New England Water Science Center and exploring New England. Natalie is a member of Sigma Alpha Sorority and spends her free time tending to her succulents and playing with her cat, Rumchata.

© 2021 Diane Wang