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Talia Karasov was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She first became interested in genetics as an undergraduate at Stanford University working on the rapid evolution of insecticide resistance in Drosophila populations. As a graduate student at the University of Chicago with Joy Bergelson, she transitioned to working on the genetics of host-microbe interactions, studying the interaction between Arabidopsis and one of its major bacterial pathogens. Now a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology working with Detlef Weigel, she synthesizes field, genomic and molecular work to study how bacterial pathogens evolve to infect different host genotypes and species.