Sonja received her undergraduate education at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a major in Plant Science and a minor in Chemistry. She received her Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Minnesota in Horticulture with a minor in Plant Physiology and a Collateral Field in Cell Biology, conducting research on gibberellin metabolism and fruit development under Dr. Mark Brenner. She conducted post-doctoral research with Dr. Susan Singer at Carleton College in developmental biology and genetics. She worked at Clemson University from 1994 to 2001 studying the effect of light spectral composition on hormonal status of Chrysanthemum with Dr. Nihal Rajapakse. While at Clemson, she also volunteered with the Sprouting Wings program at the South Carolina Botanical Garden. She was a senior research scientist in Dr. Susan Singer’s laboratory at Carleton College from 2001 to 2011 studying the developmental genetics of flowering of the garden pea, Pisum sativum, as well as participating in the development of transcriptome resources for the prairie legume Chamaecrista fasciculata. She volunteers in science education activities and has been involved in the mentor program at the University of Minnesota. She is currently mentoring high school students in the STEM program. Sonja currently teaches Greenhouse Management, Crop Physiology, Floriculture, and other horticulture courses at the University of WI-River Falls as well as conducting research on flowering. She participated this past summer in a UW-River Falls URSCA grant which involved studying the biology of a model plant in a living greenwall and developing a UW-River Falls living greenwall exhibit in the Eco Experience Building at the Minnesota State Fair. She currently serves as a reviewing editor for the Journal of Plant Growth Regulation and Executive Director of the Plant Growth Regulation Society of America. She also enjoys travel, music, scuba diving, and gardening.