Isaac Lartey values how he can impact others with a horticulture degree

Isaac Lartey is pursuing a Ph.D in horticulture after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture with a specialization in crop science. His hometown is Accra, Ghana, and he is working under the direction of Dr. Haddish Melakeberhan.

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What is your research focus?

Soil health, integrated and sustainable nematode management in cropping systems is the focus of my research. I am currently pursuing a thesis titled, “Understanding the Northern Root-Knot Nematode (Meloidogyne hapla) Parasitic Variability through the Multidisciplinary Approaches of Soil Microbiome and Environment.”

Why did you choose Horticulture as your advanced degree?

With sustainable food production being a hot topic of discussion at local, national and international platforms, Horticulture came to me as a natural choice. Coming from a background where agriculture dominates, my personal experiences has taught me that one of the ways to best make an impact is through research, which is relevant and provides answers. It is that joy of knowing about the lives I get to impact both directly and indirectly that keeps me going.

What has been the best experience in grad school so far?

My best experience in grad school is the opportunity to meet and interact with different groups of people like students, professors, farmers, extension educators and industry. I see this as a gold mine; the different perspectives which I think is a critical enriching experience for me now and eventually in my professional life.

What is the best selling point about horticulture and your choice to study it at MSU that you would like others to know?

The biggest selling point of horticulture is in the quality and international recognition of research. This greatly influenced my choice of horticulture at MSU. I see this program as one that is always at the forefront when it comes to groundbreaking research in the plant sciences.

What are your future plans (i.e. – what would be your ideal job after you graduate)?

After graduating, I hope to put into use all the skills and knowledge gathered by pursuing a career in research. I am open to careers in both research and academia.

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