Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Žaklina Pavlović. You can call me Jackie. I am a Ph.D. student at the EPP department, and I work with Dr. Trigiano. My research mainly focuses on transcriptomic work related to flowering dogwoods. I am from Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. And if you would ask me what the Serbian national brand is, I would respond right away with these three names: Mihajlo Pupin, Nikola Tesla, and Novak Djokovic. Once I finish my Ph.D. program, I plan to grow coffee and develop my coffee brand.
What is your current concentration?
My current concentration is in Bioinformatics.
What academic class has been your favorite and why?
Dr. Staton’s class, Bioinformatic Application: EPP 622, was my favorite class because, until then, I was intimidated to work on any data analysis requiring computational knowledge.
How has your academic training at The University of Tennessee prepared you for a career in the industry?
Through my academic program at UT, I learned how to improve my time management. Additionally, I ameliorated my writing and communication skills.
What is your current/latest research question? What are/were your primary obstacles in answering this question?
At this moment, my team of collaborators and I are working on generating a linkage map for beloved flowering dogwoods. The linkage map will allow us to detect regions of genetic interest, further facilitating cultivar selection and better-satisfying consumer demand. Primary obstacles came from dogwood intrinsic biology; thus, it was challenging to obtain the F2 population necessary for this type of research due to self-incompatibility.
What do you believe is your biggest academic achievement?
Detection of candidate genes involved in an early response to dogwood powdery mildew, which causes severe damage to dogwood trees
Can you tell me a little more about your research?
My research mainly focuses on transcriptomic work related to flowering dogwoods. I have worked on detecting candidate genes involved in bract pigment synthesis and early response to dogwood powdery mildew. I gained experience in transmission electron microscopy while investigating the colonization of dogwood leaf tissue by powdery mildew. Additionally, I worked on whorled sunflower tissue culture protocols winch aimed to develop protocols for its easy propagation.
Any advice you would like to share with a prospective student?
Doing science constantly pushes you out of your comfort zone because it never goes the way you anticipate. However, the beauty lies in overcoming those challenges. Thus, never give up; there is always a solution or a compromise that might be found.
What kind of extracurricular activities do you participate in?
I participated in a student organization (GSA) and was a teaching assistant for EPP 123 class- Chocolate: Bean to Bar.
What are your two favorite hobbies?
I love spending time with my family. My little girl, Nina, loves the outdoors and adores the seaside and beach. I also love to play tennis and learn new languages.