Xander is a high school senior and researcher at the University of Arizona S.T.A.R. Lab. He has studied in the Palanivelu Lab with Dr. Cedar Warman for the last two years. Centered around discovering stress-tolerant crops, his studies have included mRNA transcript analyses of incompatible tomato crosses and tomato pollen tube growth under heat stress. Xander received first place at both regional and state competitions and won 3rd place in Plant Sciences at the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Besides research, Xander teaches chemistry, plays violin with the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra, and enjoys mountain biking in the Tortolita Mountains. Xander plans to study biomedical engineering at Duke University in the fall.