My name is Leticia Reis, I am an agronomist and I’m excited to start a PhD in Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph this September. I obtained my Master of Science in Plant Production in 2018 from the Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys (UFVJM) in my country, Brazil, where I focused on the production of pitaya. However, I’ve been fascinated with the Plant Agriculture Program at the University of Guelph since learning about it during my undergraduate exchange in 2013. I’m elated to work with Dr. John Cline on a project that aims to find and define the ideal concentration of chemical thinners for the cultivation of apple trees, replace carbaryl and maintain productivity and fruit quality. This project has the potential to contribute significant environmental and economic benefits to Ontario’s agriculture sector, specifically improving product efficiency and product quality of apples, to encourage a vibrant rural community. I am very passionate about temperate fruit plants, and my dream is to advance research and make a difference in fruit production. Once my degree is completed, I intend to build a career in fruit production, plant management or in public agricultural education. During my PhD, I expect to gain a more thorough understanding of plant and soil health and learn about designing effective research projects. I’m looking forward to working with the team in the Plant Agriculture Department for the next three years!