Meet our 2022-23 3MT finalists: Clayton Carley

November 04, 2022 - by Sarah Igram

Clayton Carley is a graduate student at Iowa State majoring in Genetics and Genomics and Plant Breeding, with a specialization in Predictive Plant Phenomics. Learn more about him before his presentation, "Counting the Nodules that Count," at next week's Three Minute Thesis final competition.


Clayton Carley

Clayton Carley

Q: What brought you to Iowa State?

A: The strong reputation and heritage of plant breeding and agronomy partnered with innovative work in cutting edge phenomics research.


Q: Describe your research in three sentences or less.

A: I work to build better soybeans for farmers across the Midwest by innovating and collaborating with engineers to develop machine learning tools that make data collection easier from soybean roots. I use that information to better understand soybean nodules, which fix nitrogen for the plant, and how we could optimize them for nitrogen and carbon use efficiency.


Q: What do you hope to gain from Three Minute Thesis?

A: I desire to succinctly share one of the amazing collaborations and innovations that our Soynomics team are working on to improve agriculture, which will hopefully inspire future collaborations and the adoption of our work to advance the industry.


Q: Share a fun fact about yourself.

A: I started a sweet corn business in high school, The Sweet Corn Shack, and love trying to find the best recipe for corn bread.


Founded at the University of Queensland, Three Minute Thesis (3MT) challenges graduate students to present their research to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less. Iowa State's eight finalists will compete in our final competition on Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. You can watch a livestream of the event on the Graduate College's Facebook page.

Tags: three minute thesis, genetics and genomics, plant breeding