Faculty

Kevin Hockett

Huck Early Career Chair; Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology
Biological Control, Biology and Ecology of Plant-Microbe and Plant-Environment Interactions, Microbial Ecology and Population Biology Faculty

David Huff

Professor of Turfgrass Breeding and Genetics
Population genetics. Plant evolution and ecology. Crop improvement. Physiological tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress.

Seogchan Kang

Professor of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology
Genetic and cellular mechanisms underpinning plant-fungal interactions with Arabidopsis thaliana and Fusarium oxysporum as a model system. Molecular genetics and comparative genomics of fungal plant pathogens. Bioinformatics.

Teh-hui Kao

Chair, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Plant Biology; Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Molecular, biochemical, and structural bases of the S-RNase-based self-incompatibility system in flowering plants. F-box protein-mediated ubiquitination and degradation of proteins.

Joshua Kellogg

Emphasis Area Representative, Molecular Toxicology; Assistant Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Development of new metabolomics tools for chemical and biological characterization of complex systems. Discovery of new natural products from plants and microorganisms with novel bioactivity against pathogenic fungi and neglected tropical diseases. Bioanalytical techniques to probe the mechanism of action and basic biology of these target organisms. Ethnobotany and indigenous knowledge surrounding plant-based medicine.

Joshua Lambert

Professor of Food Science
Dietary polyphenols in prevention of obesity and fatty liver disease; efficacy and mechanisms of action of food-derived phytochemicals in prevention of lung cancer; biotransformation, bioavailability and potential hepatotoxicity of dietary phytochemicals Impact of food and medicinal plants and phytochemicals on human health. Role of plant genetics, environmental factors, agronomic practices, and post-harvest processing in moderating the relationship between medicinal and food plants and human health

Jesse Lasky

Associate Professor of Biology
Ecological and evolutionary genomics, genetic and ecophysiological basis of adaptation to environmental stress, evolutionary ecology of biological complexity.

Jonathan Lynch

Distinguished Professor of Plant Nutrition
Plant adaptation to nutrient and water stress. Global change. World hunger. Root biology.

Hong Ma

Huck Chair in Plant Reproductive Development and Evolution; Professor of Biology
Plant development under favorable and stressful conditions; phylogeny and evolutionary biology of plant groups containing major crops and ecologically important species.

Sally Mackenzie

Director of the Plant Institute; Huck Chair of Functional Genomics; Professor of Biology and of Plant Science
Organelle biology and cellular specializations. Plant epigenetics, memory and phenotypic plasticity. Crop epigenetic breeding.

Siela Maximova

Research Professor of Plant Biotechnology Co-Director, Endowed Program in the Molecular Biology of Cocoa
Molecular basis of plant-pathogen and plant-endophyte interactions. Biotechnology of tree crops. Development of sustainable energy crops.

Timothy McNellis

Associate Professor of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology
Genetics, molecular biology and physiology of plant interactions with phytopathogenic bacteria. Signal transduction events involved in plant disease resistance. Genetic control of plant hypersensitive cell death.

Gabriele Monshausen

Associate Professor of Biology
Plant cell signaling. Hormonal and mechanical signal transduction in plant growth regulation. Live cell imaging of subcellular microdomains of ionic signaling.

B. Tracy Nixon

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Structural and functional basis of cellulose synthesis. Using Physcomitrella patens and other organisms as model systems, we are learning how plants make cellulose for building new cell wall. The studies use methods of molecular biology and cryoEM to characterize the enzyme as a monomer, and when it assembles into its larger 'Cellulose Synthase Complex '(CSC for short). The aim is to understand cellulose synthesis to explain fundamentals of cell wall biology in plants, and to enable manipulation of its synthesis for applications in fields of bioenergy and materials.

Tanya Renner

Associate Professor of Entomology
Evolution of chemical and structural defense. Molecular evolution, evolutionary genomics, and transcriptomics. Origins and evolution of carnivorous plants.

Cristina Rosa

Associate Professor of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology
Plant Virology, interaction of plant viruses with their insects as vectors and with their plant hosts. Virus evolution, exploration of plant viromes, viral co-infections, effect of climate change on viral resistant breaking strains. Use of nanotechnologies for virus detection and virus disease management.

Ruairidh Sawers

Assistant Professor of Plant Response to Abiotic Stress
Local adaptation and stress tolerance in crop plants and their wild relatives; plant nutrition; arbuscular mycorrhizae; maize genetics and genomics.

Yinong Yang

Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Signal perception and transduction in rice-pathogen interactions. Molecular and genomic strategies for increasing disease resistance and drought tolerance in cereal crops.