Ariel Lepard

Currently: Research Technician - National Renewal Energy Lab (NREL)

Formerly: MS student in Rhodes Lab

Biography and Education


Castle Pines, CO

After being introduced to the possibilities of biotechnology in a high school research class, I was ready to pursue a career in anything related to it. I started my degree in Microbiology at Colorado State University, and working in the Quality department of BioMARC, a non-profit pharmaceutical company owned by CSU. I soon transitioned into wanting to be a part of food crop production after learning of the possibilities of Biofortification in class.    

I switched my major to Horticulture to finish out my undergraduate degree, and obtained a job with the USDA. I was located at the National Laboratory of Genetic Resource Preservation on the CSU campus, and my position was as a Biological Technician in the Seed Longevity and RNA Analysis lab. 

Masters Research

Genetics and diversity of sorghum carotenoid concentrations during grain development, storage, and cooking

Career Goal

Work in an industry breeding program that focuses on nutritional traits. Focus on business aspects and hurdles to get biofortified products to consumers.


Colorado State University, 2023

Colorado State University, 2021