Kopp, Olga Ruiz
Associate Professor - Biology
SB 243D
(801) 863-6259
(801) 863-8064
Mail Code:
Last Updated: 7/25/16 -


2002    Ph.D.

            University of Tennessee ( Knoxville, TN)- Botany Department

Dissertation: Enhancer and gene trap analysis of the light signaling circuitry in Arabidopsis thaliana. Advisor: Dr. Albrecht von Arnim

1996    Master Degree

            University of Tennessee ( Knoxville, TN)-Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape  Design.

Thesis: Heavy metal, salts and osmotic pressure effect on shoot regeneration from leaf explants of Dendranthema grandiflora. Advisor: Dr. Robert N. Trigiano

1991    Bachelor's Degree - Universidad Nacional de Colombia- Department of Biology.

            Thesis: In vitro propagation of Statice (Limonium sinuatum Mill.). Advisor: Dr. Margarita Perea



Utah Valley University (UVU_ Associate Professor (Since Fall 2009)

Courses taught: General Biology (BIO 1010 and BIO 1610, Ethnobotany (BOT 3800), Plant tissue culture and Laboratory (BOT 4700), Plant Physiology and Plant Physiology laboratory (BIO 4600, BIO 460L), Principles of Genomics and Bioinformatics (BIO 4300)

Utah Valley State College (UVSC) - Assistant Professor (Fall 2003-2009)

Courses taught: General Biology (BIO 1010 and BIO 1610, Biology Honors (BIO 101H), Cell Biology and Cell Biology Laboratory (BIO 3400, BIO 3405), Plant Physiology and Plant Physiology laboratory (BIO 4600, BIO 460L), Principles of Genomics and Bioinformatics (BIO 4300).

University of Tennessee - Postdoctoral Research Associate: February 2002- August 2003 Research:         symbiotic relationship between Frankia sp. and Alnus glutinosa with Dr. Beth C. Mullin.


University of Tennessee, Biology Division- Graduate Teaching Assistant

Cell Biology 140 (Fall 2001)

General Genetics 240  (Spring and Fall 1995, Spring and Fall 1998; Fall 1999)

Plant Molecular Biology 404 (Spring 1997; Spring 1999)

General Biology 110 (Fall, 1995)

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

            Gave lectures and directed laboratory exercises in the "Plant tissue culture" courses organized by the             Biotechnology Institute of the National University on November, 1989, December, 1990 and March             1991.

            Teaching Assistant: Plant Tissue culture 1990 - 1991.



Internship opportunities for undergraduates: December 3, 2008. UVU - Talked to students about how to get an internship, requirements and opportunities. Invited by the Biotechnology club.


Ethics of biotechnology in food agricultural products. The ethics of handling food in multicultural societies. Panel Discussion on the Ethics Awareness Week. This panel was organized by Dr. Ruhul Kuddus. .September 17, 2008. Faculty seminar Room. UVU.



Kopp, O.R. Historical Review of unethical experimentation with humans. The 2007 Ethics Conference. Utah Valley State College.


Talk: Ethical issues of agricultural plant biotechnology. September 21, 2006. At the: Ethics of biotechnology and bioengineering issues. Ethics awareness week, Utah Valley State College. 


Research and internship opportunities for undergraduates. Organized by the Pre-Med club. February 17, 2006


Teaching DNA Science: Resources available at the DNA learning center (CSHL) for high school and undergraduate education. Biology Seminar. September 22, 2004. In this seminar I showed some of the materials and things available at the Dolan learning center where I took the workshop of Plant genomics during the NSF fellowship at CSHL.


GTA seminar on college teaching 2000. Participated as part of the panel entitled "Outstanding GTAs discuss teaching". Knoxville, August 16, 2000 and August 19, 1998 (University of Tennessee).  The GTA seminars are organized by the GTA Mentoring Program at UT, Knoxville.


Second National Meeting of Plant Biotechnology organized by Aceviv (Colombian Association for Plant Tissue Culture). Bogotá, June 1991.



Utah Valley University: Gene expression in peanuts, micropropagation of plants, analysis of endophytes in plants.


Washington University – St. Louis (MO). Genome Education Partnership. Collaboration for genome annotation of Drosophila melanogaster.

Utah Valley State College:  Micropropagation of Astragalus holmgreniourum; AFLP analysis of Astragalus populations (Collaboration with Dr. Reneé Van Buren and Dr. Catherine Stephen).


Brigham Young UniversityCollaboration with Dr. Mikel Stevens and Dr. Jeff Maughan: Development of Chenopodium quinoa SSR markers. From March 2004 to present. Currently initiating a project at UVSC in plant tissue culture of Quinoa and Amaranth in collaborationb with the Quinoa team from BYU.


Graduate Research Assistant:  Plant Genetics and Development. Botany Department. Spring and Fall 2000, Spring 2001.

Plant Tissue Culture. Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design. College of Agriculture. 1993-1995

Flores Colombianas S.A. Director of the Plant Tissue Culture laboratory. Involved in the micropropagation of Chrysanthemum sp., Dianthus caryophyllus, Gypsophilla sp. and Alstroemeria sp. Director of breeding and selection of Chrisanthemum morifolium.

Director of the "Quality Control Lab": Conducted research in flower vase life, flower pests and collected soil samples for nematode analysis.


Universidad Nacional de Colombia - Laboratory assistant: Genetics January 1988- July 1989, Herpetology: August-December 1989, Plant Tissue culture: January 1990- January 1991.


INVITED RESEARCH PROFESSOR: Michigan State University. Chloroplast 2010 project. Summer 2007.



UVSC – Exceptional Merit Grant. $5,000 for acquisition of Histology equipment. April 2008.

UVSC SAC: 2008 – micropropagation of Astragalus holmgreniorum. $1,000

UVSC – School of Science and Health: Award for research with students: $4,000 – 2005-2006

CEL award: Center for Engaged Learning: $2,500 – Costa Rica natural history course.

GCTA – microarray small grant: chemicals equivalent to $400.oo

UVSC – Travel award: $1200.oo

UVSC – School of Science and Health – Scholary Activities Award 2004-2005         $3,570

UVSC Presidential Scholarship – 2004, $2000; 2003 $1000

Arthur E. Yates Graduate Fellowship. Academic year 2000-2001; $5,000 – University of Tennessee

Summer Graduate Research Assistantship, Summer 1996 and Summer 1999: $6,000 – University of Tennessee

Graduate student travel award, Summer 2000; $200 – University of Tennessee



Outstanding Educator of the Year Award. 2007-2008.

Teacher of the Semester Award (Athletes’ choice) – Spring 2005

Nomination as Faculty of the year award 2007.

Nomination as Faculty of the year award 2006

Summer Faculty NSF fellowship – Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory – Building Leadership to Expand Participation of Underrepresented Minorities in Plant Genetics and Genomics. Cold Spring Harbor, July 12-30, 2004. The award included stipend for the faculty ($4,500) and the student ($1,500) involved in the project.

Chancellor's Outstanding GTA Award. 1998.

The Raymond W. Holton Graduate Student Teaching Award. Academic Year 1998-1999.



Lopatto,D., Hauser, C, Jones,C.J., Paetkau, D., Chandrasekaran,V, Dunbar, D., MacKinnon, C., Stamm,J., Alvarez,C., Barnard,D., Bedard, J., Bednarski, A., Braverman, J., Burg, M., Chung, H.-M., DeJong, R., DiAngelo, J.R., Du, C., Eckdahl, T.T., Emerson, J., Frary, A., Frohlich, D.,Goodman, A.L., Gosser, Y., Govind, S., Haberman, A., Hark, A., Hoogewerf, A., Johnson, D., Kadlec, L., Kaehler, M., Silver Key, C., Kokan, N., Kopp, O.R., Kuleck, G.A., Martinez-Cruzado, J.C., McNeil, G., Mel S.,Nagengast, A., Overvoorde, P.J., Parrish, S., Preuss, M., Reed, L., Regisford, E.G., Revie, D., Robic, S., Roecklien-Canfield, J.A., Rosenwald, A.G., Rubin, M., Saville, K., Schroeder, S., Sharif, K.,Shaw, M., Skuse, G., Smith, M., Smith, S., Spana, E.P., Spratt, M., Sreenivasan, A., Thompson, J.S., Wawersik, J., Wolyniak, M., Youngblom, J., Zhou,L., Buhler, J., Mardis, E., Leung, W., Shaffer,C.D.,Threlfall, J., Elgin, S.C.R (accepted for publication) 2014. A Central Support System Can Facilitate Implementation and Sustainability of a Classroom-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) in Genomics. Cell Biology Education

Shaffer CD, Alvarez CJ, Bednarski AE, Dunbar D, Goodman AL, Reinke C, Rosenwald AG, Wolyniak MJ, Bailey C, Barnard D, Bazinet C, Beach DL, Bedard JEJ, Bhalla S, Braverman J, Burg M, Chandrasekaran V, Chung HM, Clase K, DeJong RJ, DiAngeloJ, Du C, Eckdahl TT, Eisler H, Emerson JA, Frary A, Frohlich D, Gosser Y, Govind S, Haberman A, Hark AT, Hauser C, Hoogewerf A, Hoopes LLM, Howell CE, Johnson D, Jones CJ, Kadlec L, Kaehler M, Key SCS, Kleinschit A, Kokan NP, Kopp O, Kuleck G, Leatherman J, Lopilato J, MacKinnon C, Martinez-Cruzad JC, McNeil G, Mel S, Mistry H, Nagengast A, Overvoorde P, Paetkau DW, Parrish S, Peterson CN, Preuss M, Reed LK, Revie D, Robic S, Roecklein-Canfield J, Rubin MR, Saville K, Schroeder S, Sharif K, Shaw M, Skuse G, Smith CD, Smith MA, Smith ST, Spana E, Spratt M, Sreenivasan A, Stamm J, Szauter P, Thompson JS, Wawersik M, Youngblom J, Zhou, L, Mardis ER, Buhler J, Leung W, Lopatt D, Elgin SCR. 2014. A course-based research experience: How benefits change with increased investment in instructional time. Cell Biology Education - Life Science Education 13: 111-130.


 Christopher D Shaffer, Consuelo Alvarez, Cheryl Bailey, Daron Barnard, Satish Bhalla, Chitra Chandrasekaran, Vidya Chandrasekaran, Hui-Min Chung, Douglas R Dorer, Chunguang Du, Todd T Eckdahl, Jeff L Poet, Donald Frohlich, Anya L Goodman, Yuying Gosser, Charles Hauser, Laura L M Hoopes, Diana Johnson, Christopher J Jones, Marian Kaehler, Nighat Kokan, Olga R Kopp, Gary A Kuleck, Gerard McNeil, Robert Moss, Jennifer L Myka, Alexis Nagengast, Robert Morris, Paul J Overvoorde, Elizabeth Shoop, Susan Parrish, Kelynne Reed, E. Gloria Regisford, Dennis Revie, Anne G Rosenwald, Ken Saville, Stephanie Schroeder, Mary Shaw, Gary Skuse, Christopher Smith, Mary Smith, Eric Spana, Mary Spratt, Joyce Stamm, Jeff S Thompson, Matthew Wawersik, Barbara A Wilson, Jim Youngblom, Wilson Leung, Elaine R Mardis, David Lopatto, Sarah C R Elgin. 2010. The Genomics Education partnership: successful integration of Research into laboratory classes at a diverse group of undergraduate institutions. Cell Biology Education-Life Sciences Education. Volume 9: 55-69. Spring 2010.



McGowan, Brett and Kopp, O.R. 2009. Bioprospecting in a global environment. The New Globalism. Proceedings of the 10th Annual Utah Valley University Conference by the Faculty. Utah Valley University. Pages 40-45

 Kopp, O.R. 21st Century Guidebook to Fungi review. Plant Science Bulletin. Botanical Society of America. 2012 58(2): 69-70. 

Lopatto, D., C. Alvares, D. Barnard, C. Chandrasekaran, H.M. Chung, C. Du, T. Eckdahl, A.L. Goodman, C. Hauser, C.J. Jones, O.R. Kopp, G.A. Kuleck, G. McNeil, R. Morris, J.L. Myka, A. Nagengast, P.J. Overvoorde, J.L. Poet, K. Reed, G. Regisford, D. Revie, A. Rosenwald, K. Saville, M. Shaw, G.R. Skuse, C. Smith, M. Smith, M. Spratt, , J. Stamm, J.S. Thompson, B.A. Wilson, C. Witkowski, J. Youngblom, W. Leung, C.D. Shaffer, J. Buhler, E. Mardis, S.C.R. Elgin. 2008. Genomics Education Partnership. Science. 322: 684-685. October 31,2008. 



Jessee W. Breinholt, BS; Renee Van Buren, PhD; Olga R. Kopp, Ph.D.; Catherine L. Stephen, Ph.D. 2009. Population Genetic structure of an endangered Utah endemic Astragalus ampullarioides (Fabaceae) (Welsh) Welsh. American Journal of Botany 96(3): 661-667.


Kuddus, R.H., J. Oakes, C.L. Sharp, J. Scott, K. Slater, J.J. Kirsi, O.R. Kopp, W.R. Burt. 2008. Isolation of medically important fungi from Ginkgo biloba leaves and crude ginkgo supplements. The Internet Journal of Microbiology. Vol 5(2). http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlFilePath=journals/ijmb/current.xml


Jarvis, D. E., O.R. Kopp, E.N. Jellen, M.A. Mallory, J. Pattee, A. Bonifacio, C.E. Coleman, M.R. Stevens, D.J. Fairbanks, P.J. Maughan. Accepted in the Journal of Genetics October 5, 2007. Simple Sequence Repeat Development and Genetic Mapping in Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.).

Kopp, O.R., Samson, A., Wilson-Ashworth, H2007. Lab Manual. College Biology I. Biology 1610. Pearson Custom Publishing.

Kopp, O. 2007. Historical review of unethical experimentation in humans. Ethics in the professions. Proceedings of the 8th annual Utah Valley State college conference by the faculty. Edited by Rick McDonald & David Yells. Pp.2-11

Philippe Normand, Pascal Lapierre, Louis S. Tisa, Johann Peter Gogarten, Nicole Alloisio, Emilie Bagnarol, Carla A. Bassi, Alison M. Berry, Derek M. Bickhart, Nathalie Choisne, Arnaud Couloux, Benoit Cournoyer, Stephane Cruveiller, Vincent Daubin, Nadia Demange, Maria Pilar Francino, Eugene Goltsman, Ying Huang, Olga R. Kopp, Laurent Labarre, Alla Lapidus, Celine Lavire, Joelle Marechal, Michele Martinez, Juliana E. Mastronunzio, Beth C. Mullin, James Niemann, Pierre Pujic, Tania Rawnsley, Zoe Rouy, Chantal Schenowitz, Anita Sellstedt, Fernando Tavares, Jeffrey P. Tomkins, David Vallenet, Claudio Valverde, Luis G. Wall, Ying Wang, Claudine Medigue, and David R.Benson. Genome characteristics of facultatively symbiotic Frankia sp. strains reflect host range and host plant biogeography Genome Res., Jan 2007; 17: 7 – 15

Ruhul Kuddus, Jonathan Oakes and Olga Kopp. 2006. Globalization and international molecular biotechnology transfer: Ethical, technological and organizational issues. Spheres of globalization. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Utah Valley State College Conference by the Faculty.

Ruiz-Marín, O., Augé, R.M. and Trigiano, R.N. (2001) Effect of heavy metals in the regeneration in vitro of chrisanthemum. In:Biotecnología agrícola. M. Perea Dallos (Ed). Editora Guadalupe. Bogotá. pp.89-98.

Stacey, M.G., Kopp, O.R., Kim, T.H. and von Arnim, A.G. (2000). Molecular domain structure of Arabidopsis COP1. Reconstitution of activity by fragment complementation and mutational analysis of a nuclear localization signal in planta. Plant Phys. 124: 979-989.



Calvin Bell, Jaron Larsen, Peter J. Maughan, Michael R. Stevens, Craig E. Coleman, Eric N. Jellen and Olga R. Kopp. (2007) Preliminary studies of micropropagation of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd). Annual Winter Meeting 2008. Western Section of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Utah Valley State College. Orem, UT. February 22 and 23, 2008.


Jarvis DE, Kopp OR , Jellen EN, Mallory MA, Pattee J, Bonifacio A, Coleman CE, Stevens MR, Fairbanks DJ, Maughan PJ* (2007) Simple Sequence Repeat Development, Polymorphism and Genetic Mapping in Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.).  McKnight Foundation, Collaborative Crop Research Program Biennial Grantees Conference. Paris, France


Joshua S. Bentley, Scott W. Robertson, Olga R. Kopp. 2007. Characterization of the bacterial population of the red gypsiferous soil supporting the growth of the endangered species Arctomecon humilis. Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR). University of Utah. February 2, 2007. University of Utah. Salt Lake City.


Joshua S. Bentley, Scott W. Robertson, Olga R. Kopp. 2007. Characterization of the microbiota of the soil where Arctomecon humilis grows. American Society for Microbiology. Annual meeting of the Intermountain Branch. March 10, 2007.


Olga R. Kopp,  Melanie Mallory, Christina McArthur, Justin Pattee, Eric N. Jellen, Mikel R. Stevens, Daniel J. Fairbanks, Craig E. Coleman, Peter J. Maughan. Development of Microsatellite markers for Chenopodium quinoa. Plant and Animal Genomes conference. San Diego, California. January 14-18, 2006.

Rakesh K. Gupta, John Dunlap, Svetlana V. Dobritsa, Cynthia A. Stiles, Michael E. Essington, Zhaoyang Liu, Chung-Hsuan Chen, Engin H. Serpersu, Olga Ruiz Kopp and Beth C. Mullin. Metallohistins: A new class of proteins with potential for use in the development of phytoremediation systems. 13th International Symposium on Frankia and Actinorhizal Plants  Durham, NH, Aug. 1-4, 2004.

Brook Nelson, Olga R. Kopp, Ying Wang & Beth C. Mullin. In search of the biological role of actinorhizal nodulin AgNt84.13th International Symposium on Frankia and Actinorhizal Plants  Durham, NH, Aug. 1-4, 2004.

Lowe, R., B. Blackmon1, D. Main, O.R. Kopp, B.C Mullin, and J. Tomkins. Development of a Physical Framework for the Frankia Genome. 13th International Symposium on Frankia and Actinorhizal Plants  Durham, NH, Aug. 1-4, 2004.



National Association of Biology Teachers. Memphis, TN. October 15-18, 2008. Attended a variety of teaching workshops.

Tradeline – Leading Edge Resources for Facilities Planning and Management. 2008. October 27-October 28, 2008. San Diego, CA.

American society for Microbiology. Annual meeting of the Intermountain Branch. March 10th, 2007. Idaho State University.

Council for Undergraduate Research: Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research. October 13-15, 2006. Harvey Mudd College. Claremont, CA.

Institute in Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics. Funded by the National Science Foundation: July 31- August 4, 2006. University of California Davis.


Genome Annotation workshop: Washington University – St. Louis. June 18-20, 2006 Funded by NSF.


Plant and Animal Genome XIV conference. San Diego. January 14,-18, 2006. Presented a poster.


GCAT – NSF supported DNA microarrays workshop. Morehouse College, Biology Department. Atlanta, GA. July 27- August 1, 2005.


Bridging research and teaching workshop: June 21, 2005. Washington University. St. Louis.


Teaching workshop: Model organisms to Bedside. June 22-24, 2005. Washington University, St. Louis.


Case Studies in Science Summer workshop. University at Buffalo, State University of New York. May 23-27, 2005.

National Science foundation Fellowship. Summer 2004. Cold Spring Harbor July 12-30, 2004. Training in teaching plant molecular genetics and genomics.


Embryogenesis: Molecules, morphogens and mountains: Southwest and Gulf Regional society for Developmental Biology Meeting. September 19-21, 2003. Salt Lake City, UT.

Bioquest summer workshop: Biocomplexity in undergraduate education: from hard data to hard decisions. June 15-23, 2002. Beloit College. Beloit, WI.


Science with Fast Plants. University of Wisconsin, Madison. January 14-16, 2000.



Annual Winter meeting of the Western Section of the American Society of Plant Biologists. February 22 and 23, 2008. Scientists and students from different Western states came to UVSC to present and discuss their research.


Plant molecular Genetics and bioinformatics workshop. 2007 for high school teachers in Utah (collaboration with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory).


Organized and held a Bioinformatics workshop at UVSC taught by staff from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI- Washington). August 14 and 15, 2006. Twenty two participants of the community, including faculty and students from UVSC and BYU participated in this course. The course included: Entrez Gene, Making sense of DNA and protein sequences, Gene Bank and MapViewer.


Organized a Plant Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics workshop for High School and Junior College Faculty in collaboration with the Dolan DNA Learning Center (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory). June 6-8, 2005. Utah Valley State College. This workshop presented laboratory and Internet-based curriculum of modern plant research that could be used by teachers in their classroom.