Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Maria-Angelica Sanclemente is a doctoral candidate in the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology program at UF. Her research focuses on understanding the role of a group of enzymes called Nucleoside Diphosphate Kinases (NDPKs) in maize. The main goal is to understand how NDPK contributes to plant acclimation to low-oxygen conditions to improve breeding and agricultural efforts to maintain crop yields in changing environments.
Angelica holds a B.Sc. in Biology with a major in botany. She received a master’s degree in Horticultural Sciences from UF. Her M.S. research on rehabilitation of avocado trees damaged by flooding was recognized by Miami Dade County for contributions to local agriculture. In addition to mentoring graduate students, she volunteers for the Alachua County public school system. She has participated in different outreach programs through the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) to engage the public in scientific conversations. She was awarded best business plan at the UF EWITs (Empowering Women in Technology start-ups) program. She also volunteers as a mentor for students from underrepresented groups studying maize genetics and guides them in science career networking.
Angelica hopes to create an applied research program focusing on crop plant physiology and to work at the interface of industry and academia to improve food security. As part of her commitment to education she intends to include efforts to train low-income families in self-sustainability. Finally, she hopes to encourage others, Hispanics and beyond to pursue leadership roles in science and technology careers.