Shuipys can usually be found working in the lab surrounded by plants. He frequently runs experiments, measures and observes plants and records different aspects of plant development. He primarily works with the Arabidopsis thaliana plant, due to its ability to grow quickly and be easily transformed.
“I’ve always liked plants,” Shuipys said. “My Mom had a garden in our backyard and growing up we would have tomatoes, cucumbers and more. Now my apartment is full of plants and I decided to go into this field because it just made sense for me to combine my passion for science and plants.”
Having an interest in plants is what led Shuipys to consider and apply for the UF Genetics and Genomics Graduate Program.
“It was definitely one of the reasons wanted to go here,” Shuipys said. “I saw that there were a lot of faculty doing some really cool stuff with plants and I knew I would find someone great to work with.”
Dr. Folta was Shuipys’ running first choice when selecting mentors and he believes he made the right choice in choosing to work with him.
“Dr. Folta’s made my graduate education seamless and he not only gives great advice in terms of experiments and where to take the projects, but also in other areas such as personal development,” Shuipys said. “Even with all his travel he always finds time to meet with us.”
Shuipys was pleasantly surprised to be the Bern’s Award winner this year and said that the laptop reward will help him significantly.
Berns Award winners receive $1,500 toward a new laptop, and their name is engraved on the Berns Award plaque displayed in the UFGI main office. UFGI also provides up to $3,000 to defray the publication costs for any future peer reviewed paper(s) on which the Berns award recipient is first author.
In addition to the Berns award, Shuipys received an honorable mention for his poster at the Florida Genetics Symposium.
Upon graduation Shuipys plans to do plant research in the industry sector. He hopes to work in a government agency like the USDA or NASA.
Shuipys stated that he is honored to be the 2019 Berns Award winner and is thankful for all of the opportunities the UFGI graduate program and his mentors have provided him with.