Maia Clipsham

Emails: maia.clipsham@curtislab.orgLinkedIn:


I grew up just outside of Ames, Iowa. I graduated from Iowa State university in 2017 with a double degree in Biological Systems Engineering and Global Resource Systems. After graduating I worked at the University of Pittsburgh Genomic Research Core for a year and then for a summer as an Engineering Technician intern at the Payette National Forest in Idaho. I then went back to school and got a master’s degree in Microbial Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2021. I am currently working towards a Chemical Engineering PhD and then plan to start working in the plant biotechnology industry.

Research Project

Watershed protection using duckweed.

Agricultural runoff, especially manure applied to farm fields is a massive problem in the USA and in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in particular. I am part of an NSF funded nitrogen recycling project studying the use of cow manure as nutrients for the growth of duckweed that can then be fed to cows or used as a biofertilizer. I am working on the transient expression of proteins for animal supplementation in duckweed. This includes the creation of a disarmed non-necrotic suicide agrobacterium, creation and optimization of gene cassettes and transformation vectors optimized for gene expression in duckweed and the selection and collection of high lysine, methionine, and histidine proteins.


Master's Thesis