Current Lab Members

Welcome to the Rogers Lab!

Mary Rogers Profile



Dr. Mary Rogers

Office:  438 Alderman Hall
             1970 Folwell Ave
             St. Paul, MN 55108
Contact: (612) 624-8871,

Visit Mary’s Horticultural Science faculty page for more information about her. 



Claire Flavin Hodge



Claire grew up on a conventional corn-soybean farm, but found her passion for agriculture through working on organic vegetable farms.  Both in research and in practice, Claire is interested in sustainable farming systems, particularly those that revitalize the human communities and natural biodiversity in which they are situated. Her Master's research was two-fold, with one project devoted to developing agronomic and marketing strategies for organic dry beans, and the second project focused on improving the potential of hairy vetch as a winter-hardy cover crop for MN. Now a part of the Rogers' Lab, she will split her time seasonally, working in the winter with growers to maximize productivity in their Deep Winter Greenhouses, and in the summers, focus her efforts on spotted wing drosophila research. 




Matthew Gullickson

Graduate Research Assistant


Matthew’s interest in nature and plants began as a child helping in his father’s garden. This lead him to working at the student-managed organic garden while pursuing a B.A. in biology from Gustavus Adolphus College. After graduating in 2016, he worked for The Nature Conservancy, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, and the University of Minnesota as a field technician specializing in plant identification and prairie ecology. He is interested in the ecology of managed environments, horticulture, organic fruit and vegetable production, and plant systematics.  

Nathan Hecht

Nathan Hecht

Laboratory Technician


Nathan's love for the land was seeded in the bluffs and rivers of his hometown in La Crosse, WI.   After graduating from Luther College in Decorah, IA with a B.A. in Biology, he worked as a farm intern at a local organic market garden.  He spent the next 3 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Andes of Peru, working on agroforestry, trash management, environmental education, and biological water quality monitoring projects.  He is interested in locally-adapted efforts to add functional biodiversity back into our agroecosystems in ways that can improve both sustainability and productivity.  His specific interests include farming for beneficial insects, soil conservation, and organic fruit/vegetable production.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing folk music on the mandolin/guitar/cello, hiking, and plant propagating. Nathan graduated with an M.S. in Applied Plant Science in 2019. 


Naomy Candelaria profile picture

Naomy Candelaria

Graduate Research Assistant


Naomy is a Puerto Rican and earned her bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Puerto Rico, Utuado. She is passionate about the environment and giving back to the community. Back in Puerto Rico she organized clean ups at diverse locations such as beaches, forests and rivers. Another project she participated in was reforestation of diverse coasts that were gravelly impacted after hurricane Maria. She also loved working with a local organic farmer near her hometown, where she perfectionated her skills in crop management, biofertilizers, compost techniques, among other. Some of her favorite hobbies include hiking, going to beaches and rivers, dancing and meeting new people. Naomy is completing her master’s degree in Applied Plant Science, were she is working with Julie Grossman, PhD and Mary Rogers, PhD. Some day she wishes to have an agroecological farm where she can apply all the techniques, she has acquired along her life to promote resilience and resistance of her farm during climate change periods. This way, Puerto Ricans can eventually increase their sustainability and food sovereignty.


Join Our Lab

We welcome individuals who are interested in pursuing positions as M.S. or Ph.D. graduate students as well as post-doctoral fellow positions, junior scientists, and undergraduate research assistants, or through the undergraduate research opportunities program (UROP). We highly recommend contacting Dr. Rogers to discuss current opportunities available, and we invite you to join events and seminars offered through the Department of Horticultural Science. We also encourage growers who are interested in collaborative projects to contact Mary Rogers.

Graduate Students

Acceptance to our lab as a graduate student is dependent upon available funds, and we require graduate students to have a source of funding, either through external funds or through a research assistant (RA) position with our lab. Interested individuals must apply to the Applied Plant Sciences (APS) graduate program through the University of Minnesota Graduate School. Information about the APS program, prerequisites, and application can be found on the APS website.

Undergraduate Students:

We are currently hiring several undergraduate student employees for summer research work.  Please click here for more information.