Laura Bostic

Graduate Student

Method Rd

Unit 3, Room 207


Dr. Kelly Ivors

Dr. D. Mike Benson

Committee Members: Dr. Marc Cubeta and Dr. Ron Gehl


I received my first Bachelor's degree is in Mathematics from Virginia Tech in 2007. After graduation, I worked for two years as a cost analyst for a government contractor, working on Army and Navy projects. Missing plants and fresh air, I came to NC State for another Bachelor’s degree in Plant Biology in 2010. 

While earning my degree in Plant Biology, I worked in Dr. William Hoffmann's physiological ecology lab, assisting with research at an experimental warming site to separate the direct effect of warming on growth from the indirect effect of increased vapor pressure deficit on stomatal conductance. While in Dr. Hoffmann's lab, I received the W. Scott and Mary Dell Chilton Undergraduate Research Award. With these funds I researched the effect of temperature on germination rate and electron transport rate during photosynthesis in an endangered plant species, Pyxidanthera brevifolia, native to the sandhills of North Carolina.

After graduating and prior to starting in my graduate work, I worked in a molecular pathology lab where we quantified pathogen-induced gene splicing leading to changes in gene expression. I also was fortunate enough to participate in an NSF-funded internship in Costa Rica where I worked with a fungal pathogen, Mycosphaerella fijiensis, affecting bananas.

After graduation, I want to teach at the college level. I want to share my excitement for math and science with students and give them opportunities to gain experience for future careers and graduate school. 


-B.S. Plant Biology, North CarolinaState University, Dec 2010

-B.S. Mathematics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), May 2007

Special Achievements and Activities:

-Recipient of Presidential Campus Enrichment Grant, awarded to students promoting diversity on campus, 2003-2007

-Recipient of W. Scott and Mary Dell Chilton Undergraduate Research Award, 2010

-Member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the Mathematics National Honor Society, 2007-present

-Treasurer and Adopt-a-Highway organizer, Virginia Tech Alumni Association-RTP Chapter, 2011-present


My research is focused on fungal diseases impacting ornamental grasses. My current projects involve learning more about the biology and control of Ephelis japonica and Myriogenospora atramentosa, the causal agents of Black Choke and Tangle Top diseases, respectively. I am also developing molecular detection methods to determine infection levels to aid in selecting disease-free stock plants. 

Departmental and University Activities:

-Bugfest, "The Bug Bus, Plant Pathogens Hitch a Ride", Student Volunteer, 2011

-Member of the PPGSA Outreach Commitee, 2012-2013

-Plant Pathology UGSA representative, 2012-2013

-Rosie Perez Seminar Planning Committee, 2012-2013

-Plant Pathology Recruitment Committee, 2013

-University Graduate Student Teaching Awards Committee, 2013