Splash Biography

JEFFREY YEN, Cornell alumnus/plant genetics enthusiast

Major: Plant Sciences

College/Employer: Cornell

Year of Graduation: 2018

Picture of Jeffrey Yen

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I am a plant enthusiast who tries to understand how plants develop and respond to the environment through genetics. Aside from teaching, I am an amateur woodworker and guitar player. I also enjoy going on hikes and trying new activities.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

P616: Hot Topics in Modern Genetics in Splash Spring 2019 (Apr. 27, 2019)
A survey of topics relating to modern genetics and genomics. What is CRISPR and how is it changing the frontier of genetic research? Should and can we wipe out mosquito species to eliminate malaria? What is the logic behind GMOs and do we know what we’re doing? Are there genes that make people good athletes? What about intelligence or behavior? What do genetic testing kits like 23andMe tell us about ourselves? Should we trust the results? Topics include CRISPR gene editing, genetic drives, genetically modified organisms (GMO), complex trait inheritance, and personalized medicine. This class will also include ethical discussions about issues that arise from genetic technological advances.

P617: Domestication – The Good, Bad, and Ugly in Splash Spring 2019 (Apr. 27, 2019)
Humans have domesticated plants and animals since the dawn of agriculture and it is the foundation of modern society. This class will examine the mechanistic process of domestication through the lenses of genetics and its implications on daily life. By the end of this course you should be able to answer questions such as: Why is my dog breed so susceptible to certain diseases? What does the ancestor of corn look like? What’s wrong with modern vegetables and fruits and why are people still trying to improve it? Why is it hard to tame a wolf? Join us to explore the wonders of domestication in terms of its good, bad, and ugly!

P584: Shedding light onto plants – Introduction to Botany in Splash Fall 2018 (Nov. 10, 2018)
Plants come in all shapes and forms, but why does each plant look the way they do? Join us in a journey to discover the evolution of different plant forms and recognize how they relate to one another! I will discuss the anatomical features of a wide variety of plants and how they serve to solve basic physiological problems. Connections to physics, physiology, evolution, and genetics will be drawn. Unique features of domesticated food crops will also be discussed. No prerequisites required, just a curious mind:)!