About Us

headshot image of Sarah Placella

Sarah Placella

CEO, Co-Founder


Sarah has worked as the scientist for two different diagnostic start-up companies; by having science at the core of Root Applied Sciences, she is confident in our delivery of an excellent product. She is working to distill the science into a clear, easy-to-use format so that customers can get the most out of our offerings. 


Sarah has a BA in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management where she focused on microbial ecology and soil biogeochemistry. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Michigan State's Kellogg Biological Field Station, and later at the Ecology and Soils unit of INRA in Montpellier, France, compliments of an Agreenskills Fellowship (Marie Curie Foundation).

headshot image of Rodrigo Almeida

Rodrigo Almeida

Science Advisor, Co-Founder


Rodrigo has devoted his career to understanding pathogens of vineyards and other perennial crops. He has been engaged in the biology, ecology and management of plant pathogens for over 20 years. Rodrigo decided to found this company to help the science in his laboratory reach the people who can benefit from it.


The Hildebrand-Laumeister Chair of Plant Pathology at UC Berkeley, Professor Almeida has been the recipient of Fulbright and Marie Curie Fellowships as well as the early career award from the American Phytopathological Society. Current research in the Almeida group focuses on the ecology and management of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses and Xylella fastidiosa diseases, especially Pierce's disease of grapevines.