Keri Deppe Carstens ’01, Boone, Iowa

Dr. Keri Carstens’ curriculum vitae reads like that of a retiring industry legend, not of a 35-year-old less than a decade out of school.

The Boone resident has been quick to blossom in the field of plant genetics since double-majoring in biology and education at Wartburg. Carstens earned master’s and doctoral degrees in toxicology from Iowa State University and is charting the future of agriculture as a scientist for DuPont Pioneer in Johnston.

The specific tasks in which she’s proficient or topics on which she’s presented and published articles — pollinator health, nematicides, electrophoresis, chromatography, and gene flow, to name a few — would send most flocking to Google.

In general terms, she works in research and product development, coordinating early-stage testing of seed treatments and communicating best practices for related stewardship activities. And she’s good at it: Carstens holds graduate faculty status at Iowa State, was honored as the 2014 Outstanding Regional Chapter Member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and has testified before the Congressional Agriculture Committee.

Carstens complements a demanding career with a generous dose of service and volunteerism. She sits on several environmental stewardship boards and graduated from the selective Leadership Iowa program in 2014. She helps lead Iowa State’s Women in Science and Engineering Program and is active with her church, Bethesda Lutheran in Ames. Carstens and her husband, Jeff, have two children.