Jessa is a PhD student at Colorado State University. She received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Forestry from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Philippines. Jessa’s current study is on the development of molecular markers for conifer needle pathogens in Colorado and the rest of the Rocky Mountain Region. Her research also involves molecular characterization, taxonomy and phylogeny of Lophodermella species, pathogens causing needle cast and blight, as well as other species within Rhytismataceae. She also aims to characterize shifts in the needle mycobiome and metatranscriptome in the presence of needle cast pathogens to identify potential beneficial fungal endophytes for disease management and to understand host-pathogen-mycobiome interactions in a needle pathogen pathosystem.