Welcome to the Sparks Lab at the University of Delaware! Dr. Erin Sparks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and the Delaware Biotechnology Institutes. Research in the lab is focused on improving agricultural crop resilience to external forces (strong storms/winds). In agriculture, the failure of plants to stay upright is called lodging, and can have a dramatic impact on crop yields. In some crops specialized brace roots are hypothesized to play an important role in stability to prevent lodging.