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Davina Rhodes, PhD, RD

Assistant Professor of Nutritional Genomics


Davina.Rhodes@colostate.edu

Background and Research

Dr. Rhodes is originally from Florida, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Environmental Science at New College of Florida. She received her master's degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois in Chicago, focusing on the genetics of inflammation and chronic disease. She went on to work as a clinical dietitian in an endocrine clinic in Chicago for two years before deciding to return to research to find solutions to prevent nutrition-related disorders. Her doctoral work at University of South Carolina focused on the anti-inflammatory effects of sorghum grain flavonoids and the genetic variation of sorghum grain nutrients. After finishing her PhD, she worked as a National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) postdoctoral fellow to develop molecular breeding resources for increased pro-vitamin A carotenoids in sorghum grain, which was conducted at the USDA-ARS Grain Quality and Structure Research Unit in Manhattan, Kansas.

At Colorado State University, Dr. Rhodes is continuing her work on sorghum carotenoids, while also expanding her research into potato nutrient biofortification. She studies the genetics of crop nutritional traits in order to help breeders develop healthier food crops. She uses tools from crop genetics, human nutrition, and analytical chemistry to determine the best breeding strategies for nutritional traits. Her work includes:


  • phenotyping germplasm collections to characterize the natural variation of nutritional traits

  • identifying genetic markers and genes associated with variation in traits

  • determining genotype by environment effects on nutritional traits

Courses - Fall 2021

  • Introduction to Research

  • Topics in Horticulture

Education

  • Ph.D. Integrative Biology: Crop Genetics and Nutrition

University of South Carolina, 2014

  • M.S. Human Nutrition

University of Illinois at Chicago, 2007

  • B.A. Environmental Science

New College of Florida, 1999