By: Hailey Meyer

“I wish I knew earlier on that one’s life can really take any shape, and that this is up to each and every person to figure out,” says Dr. Jeremiah Busch.

Dr. Jeremiah Busch is an associate professor for the Washington State University School of Biological Sciences, who’s main focus is on plant evolutionary genetics.

Busch is particularly interested in traits that have an outsized impact on evolution, and has a long-standing interest in the degree to which evolution closes doors for future evolutionary responses. A lot of his work is based on the evolution of genes that cause self-fertilization, and is currently working on the evolution of polypoids.

Busch’s interest in plant genetics started when he really got involved with his undergraduate research at Indiana University. He had two mentors that stuck out to him, Dr. Ellen Simms and Dr. Joy Bergelson.

“They were really patient with me and helped me make small progress on small questions,” Busch says, “I think the social fabric of the laboratory environment, where everyone is on the same team asking questions, really struck me as a wonderful way to experience the world.”

Dr. Jeremiah Busch

Busch also mentioned that he was blown away by the fact that people were so curious about the world and that they spent their lives trying to understand it. He was fascinated the most with statistic classes because that is where he was most out of his element.

“I have always been intrigued by biological diversity, and being introduced to statistical methods seemed to unlock a few doors for me,” said Busch, “I’m not saying it was easy, though!”

Busch was born in Alaska, but has lived in Montana, Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arkansas. He completed his undergrad at the University of Chicago, and received his Ph. D. in 2005 at Indiana University.

Currently being at WSU, Busch would recommend to all students to figure out what they are interested in, and to get involved in that.

“Enmesh yourself in a healthy social fabric too – this helps to strike a proper balance between the rigors of the classroom and the rest of your life, which should be equally rewarding,” Busch mentioned.