Maliheh Safari is a PhD candidate in Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State University. She received her BS and MSc degrees in Plant Pathology from the University of Tehran. She joined Marilyn Roossinck’s lab in the Spring 2013, studying co-evolution of plant persistent viruses with their host. In her research she investigates an aspect of virus evolution that has not been addressed before; the role of lifestyle in the evolution of viruses. Also, she is interested in the potential beneficial roles of persistent viruses in the ancestors of domestic plants. Studying the insect-virus interaction may reveal further mutualistic relationships between persistent viruses and their host.