Experiencing the tragedy of disease, poverty and starvation, both personally and in various countries, has left an indelible passion in me to pursue plant science to make a brighter future for humanity. For my Master’s research, I studied the inheritance of disease resistance and spicy flavor in chile peppers, where I discovered a new gene that inhibits disease resistance, helped sequence the chile pepper genome and broke the world record for "hottest pepper". At Cambridge, I will investigate improving crop productivity by working towards transferring the more efficient C4 photosynthesis into less efficient C3 photosynthetic, yet economically important, crops--notably rice and wheat. Engineering C4 photosynthesis into C3 crops could potentially increase current yields by 50%, while adding greater nitrogen- and water-use efficiency. This would be an incredible solution to global food security and supply! Upon completion of a PhD, I aspire to become a plant breeder.