Department of Plant Biology
William is a senior Ph.D. graduate student at Rutgers University and a member of the New Use Agriculture and Natural Plant Products Program (NUANPP). His dissertation studies focus on the biology and breeding of catnip. One outcome of the genetic improvement of catnip (N. cataria) for the pet toy and insect repellent industries. resulted in the development and licensing a new N. cataria cultivar ‘CR9’. William and colleagues have been exploring the effects of natural products including N. cataria essential oils as an insect repellent. He has also worked with other high value niche plant species including exotic peppers, hot peppers, and ethnic vegetables on the East Coast to maximize their desired economical traits, aroma and flavor, nutritional and medicinal value.