Molly Hanlon

Molly Hanlon

Postdoctoral Scholar in Plant Sciences

Penn State Unviersity

About Me

I am an experienced root biologist with expertise in plant mineral nutrition, plant‑soil relations, and plant growth under stress. I have worked and managed interdisciplinary teams of engineers, computational scientists, image analysts, and biologists to try to build tools to allow us to effectively phenotype roots and identify genes that underlie beneficial root traits. My skills include phenotyping, image analysis, field trial design and implementation, and R.

Interests

  • Plant Science
  • Root Biology
  • Plant Nutrition

Education

  • PhD in Plant Biology, 2017

    Penn State University

  • BS in Biochemistry, 2009

    Allegheny College

Skills

A blend of scientific, analytical, and life skills

R

Main language for data analysis and figure-making

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Digging and Soil Coring

Until we develop new technologies, brute force is the answer

Plant Nutrition and Analysis

Analyze plant nutrients though various lab techniques

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Maize

Grow it, study it, eat it.

Data Analysis

Both field and lab experiment analysis

X-Ray Fluorescence

Use of X-Ray fluorescence to analyze plant elemental content

Tractors

Academic Farming including troubleshooting antiquated machinery

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Image Analysis

ImageJ, Fiji, custom programs

Soccer

Always up for a (slow) small-sided game

Swimming

I travel with goggles

Biking

The best way to commute, no matter the weather

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Fixing Things

Resurrecting failing lab equipment is my specialty

Experience

 
 
 
 
 

Postdoctoral Scholar

Department of Plant Science

Jan 2018 – Present Penn State University
In the lab of Dr. Jonathan Lynch, my research project is part of the larger ARPA-E DEEPER program. My research project is LEADER: Leaf Elemental Accumulation from deep roots. I use advanced sensing to determine root depth via leaf elemental content
 
 
 
 
 

Project Manager

DEEPER: An integrated phenotyping platform for deeper roots

Jul 2017 – Present Penn State University
Managed the ARPA-E funded DEEPER project, which includes over 20 researchers at four institutions. Researchers include plant scientists, geneticists, image analysts, computer scientists, and engineers. Responsibilities include reporting to the agency quarterly, managing tech-to-market components, and meeting milestones on all aspects of the project.
 
 
 
 
 

PhD Student

Plant Biology Program, Huck Institute of Life Sciences

Jul 2017 – Present Penn State University
Completed an NSF-GRFP funded PhD with Dr. Kathleen M. Brown, titled ‘New perspectives on conventional ideas about root system architecture and morphology’

Outside Links

Penn State labs and pages

Roots Lab

Lab of Jonathan Lynch and Kathleen Brown at Penn State

DEEPER

An integrated phenotyping platform for deeper roots

Contact