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Swathi NadakudutiSwathi Nadakuduti, PI

Ph.D. Michigan State University, US (2014)

M.Sc. Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany (2007)

B.Sc. Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University (2005)

Swathi is interested in exploring plants for medicinal properties and agricultural uses. She is excited about identifying new phytochemicals for human use and genetically improving the plants by modern breeding and biotechnology methods. Besides research, she enjoys gardening and cooking. she loves to listen to and sing Indian classical music, and practice yoga in her spare time!!


Graduate Students

Larrisa Laforest

Larissa Laforest

Larissa is a PhD student in Plant Molecular and Cell Biology (PMCB) program. Larissa graduated from UF in 2019 from the College of Agriculture and Life Science with a bachelor’s in Biology: Biotechnology. Larrisa is interested in exploring the alkaloids of Mitragyna speciosa, a medicinal plant of interest in the lab and the genetics underlying the biosynthesis of alkaloids in this species along with establishing gene-editing pipeline for metabolic engineering in this species. Larrisa was born and raised in Haiti, and her dream is to be able to contribute to the island using the knowledge she acquires in her career. In her free time, Larrisa likes to dance, read, discuss philosophy, and watch anime!


Carlos A. Montoya Flores


Carlos A. Montoya Flores

Carlos is a Fulbright Ph.D. student in the Environmental Horticulture Department from Colombia. He is a microbiologist master's in Biology (Biotechnology) from the University of Antioquia, Colombia. Carlos is interested in the application of omics and gene-editing technologies toward answering questions in crop improvement against biotic and abiotic stresses. He also finds it fascinating to study the cascade of information between genes and plant-specialized metabolites looking for diverse applications in agriculture, industry, and health. His long-term goal is to work in the bioprospection of genes in plants and microorganisms to improve human lives. In his spare time, he likes hiking, biking, and taking pictures.


Amanda Decker


Amanda Decker

Amanda Decker is a master’s student in the Environmental Horticulture Department. Amanda graduated from UF in 2022 with a bachelor's in plant science with an emphasis on plant breeding and genetics. Her current research focuses on exploring seed lipids and carbohydrates in salvia species and studying the impact of abiotic stresses on lipid metabolism in Camelina sativa. Her long-term goal is to serve her community and open the doors to opportunities through county Extension services. In her free time, Amanda enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and creating art. 




Pavithra Ramachandria


Pavithra Ramachandria

Pavithra is a Class of 2025 Biochemistry major at UF. She is currently studying monoterpene indole alkaloid diversification in Thai cultivars of Mitragyna speciosa. After obtaining her bachelor's, she hopes to join medical school. In her free time, she enjoys doing medical outreach and classical Indian dance.

Previous Lab Members

Hannah Cardenas


Hannah Cardenas

Hannah Cardenas is a Class of 2025 Microbiology undergraduate student in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) at UF. She is interested in studying cancer, genetics, and medicinal plants. She hopes to combine her background in technology with these fields to be at the forefront of STEM innovation. Outside of the lab, Hannah enjoys gardening, cooking, playing sports, and exploring Florida’s state parks. 


Megan Tachev


Megan Tachev

Currently, Megan is a postgraduate Associate in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University.

Brooke Hall


Brooke Hall

Brooke is a Class of 2025 Biology major in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) at UF on the pre-medical track. She is also pursuing a minor in Chinese and hopes to help others in the future as a doctor. In her free time Brooke enjoys gardening, reading, and baking.


Blake Costine


Blake Costine, Graduate

Blake graduated with a master’s degree in Horticulture from Dr. Nadakuduti’s lab. Blake’s research focused on exploring Florida native Scutellaria species for plant-derived pharmaceutical flavones and published his research work. Currently, Blake is a Horticulture Scientist in the Space Crop Food Production Facility at Kennedy Space Center.


Trisha Mutindi Mutisya


Trisha Mutindi Mutisya,  Undergraduate

Trisha is a junior at the University of Florida majoring in Plant Science and minoring in Bioinformatics. After obtaining her bachelor's, she wants to continue towards a master's degree in a related study. As a career, she hopes to work with like-minded individuals to find solutions to climate change. In her free time, she enjoys arts and crafts, gardening, and cooking.


Keun Ho Cho, Biological Scientist



Experienced Biological Scientist having research professional acquiring a Doctor of Plant Medicine (2008) focused in Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Florida. Skilled in Plant Tissue Culture, Gene cloning, Bioinformatics, Genetic transformation, Crop protection, Microscopy, Data analysis, and Genomics.


Nadia Mourad


Nadia Mourad, Graduate student

Nadia received a B.Sc. in Microbiology & Cell Science, minors in Bioinformatics & Studio Art. She is currently a 1st year PhD student in the PMCB program and rotated in Dr. Nakuduti's lab, where she worked on CRISPR-based gene-editing technologies.


Please contact me at if you would like to learn more about our current research projects and are interested to join our lab. Undergraduate and graduate student positions available.