Katrien Devos, professor of plant genetics with joint appointments in Plant Biology and Crop and Soil Sciences, is an internationally recognized plant genomics researcher. She studies the structure, function and evolution of grass genomes, with a focus on cereals, bioenergy crops and halophytic turfgrasses. She helped lead the development of the “crop circles” concept, which demonstrates relationships among different grass genomes at the genetic level. Her laboratory combines basic and applied research to understand the genetics and evolutionary biology of crops such as wheat, switchgrass, seashore paspalum and millets. Millet species such as finger millet and pearl millet are important to food security in Africa and India. Devos works with East African breeders to design more resilient and sustainable cereal varieties. She and her colleagues recently led the sequencing of both the finger millet genome and its main fungal pathogen, blast, and now are searching for genetic factors that could enhance finger millet’s resistance to blast.