Much of the ingenuity of life has revolved around the evolution of metabolic pathways, which has unlocked novel chemistries and expanded the molecular repertoire of nature. In particular, plants have been especially successful through the evolution of many unique and relevant metabolisms, ranging from synthesis of specialized compounds that can be used as pharmaceuticals (e.g., morphine, artemisinin) to broad processes that drive our planet’s elemental cycles (e.g., photosynthesis). As a result, life as we know it could not exist without plants. Given the scale and utility of agriculture, plants offer a unique platform to address many imminent challenges facing society. My research focuses on developing the foundational knowledge needed to innovate, deploy, and engineer new traits in plants using synthetic biology. Beyond biotechnological applications, these approaches can also be utilized to provide more sophisticated tools to improve our basic understanding of plant systems.