People

Plant Institute

Jared Ali

Assistant Professor of Entomology
Behavior and chemical ecology of multi-trophic interactions, including plant responses to below-ground herbivory and nematode. Insect community ecology, chemical ecology, and coevolution. Trophic cascades, above- and below-ground interactions, chemotaxis of soil nematodes, and evolution of plant defense strategies.

Charles Anderson

Associate Professor of Biology
In vivo imaging of plant cell wall dynamics. Molecular genetic analysis of genes involved in cell growth. Cell wall biosynthesis in dividing cells. Cell wall engineering for sustainable bioenergy production.

Sally Assmann

Waller Professor of Biology
Molecular biology of plant G-proteins and kinases. Phytohormone regulation of signal transduction and RNA processing. Second messenger regulation of ion channels in plant cells.

Michael Axtell

Professor of Biology
Discovery and characterization of plant microRNAs and siRNAs. Functions of microRNAs and siRNAs in the evolution of plant development. Genomics and bioinformatics of microRNAs, siRNAs, and their targets

Terrence Bell

Assistant Professor of Phytobiomes
Soil and root-associated microbiomes, microbiome assembly, microbiome manipulation, disturbance.

Robert Berghage

Associate Professor of Plant Science
Environmental plant physiology. Controlled and modified environments for plant growth. Eco-roofs, rooftop greening, and other uses of plants in distributed stormwater management systems.

Philip Bevilacqua

Co-Director, Center for RNA Molecular Biology; Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
RNA folding in vivo and genome-wide; RNA regulation of gene expression; Ribozyme Mechanism; roles RNA may have played in the emergence of life on early earth

Kathleen Brown

Professor of Plant Stress Biology
Regulation of root development. Root responses to edaphic stress. Identification and genetic mapping of traits for adaptation to edaphic stress.

Donald Bryant

Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology; Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Photosynthesis, structure-function relationships of proteins, gene regulation, and microbial physiology. Cyanobacteria and green sulfur bacteria. Genomics of photosynthetic bacteria.

Carolee Bull

Director of the Microbiome Center; Professor of Plant Pathology; Bacterial Systematics Head, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Bacterial systematics, epidemiology, and population biology of bacterial plant pathogens and biological control agents to develop alternatives to synthetic chemicals for plant disease management

Liana Burghardt

Huck Early Career Chair of Root Biology and Rhizosphere Interactions
Plant-microbe-climate interactions in natural and managed landscapes; the evolution and ecology of legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia; plant life cycles and development; the genomic basis and environment dependence of mutualism; GWAS/transcriptomics/evolve & resequence methodologies.

Eric Burkhart

Program Director, Appalachian Botany and Ethnobotany, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center

Tomas Carlo-Joglar

Associate Professor of Biology

John Carlson

Professor of Molecular Genetics; Director, Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics
Genome mapping, including genetic linkage mapping, molecular cytogenetics; studies of genetic diversity in forests.

Jeffrey Catchmark

Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Cellulose synthesis and organization, cellulosic composites and coatings, microbial cellulose production, and chemically powered microfluidic and biological devices and sensors.

Michela Centinari

Assistant Professor of Viticulture

Robert Chiles

Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology

Surinder Chopra

Professor of Maize Genetics
Regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis during plant development and plant-pathogen interaction. Epigenetic regulation and allele specific patterns.

Erin Connolly

Professor and Head of Plant Science
Molecular mechanisms of micronutrient transport. Iron uptake and compartmentalization. Metal ion homeostasis

Daniel Cosgrove

Eberly Chair and Professor of Biology
Mechanism of plant growth. Function and evolution of expansins. Biochemistry and rheology of plant cell walls. Growth responses to light, hormones, and water stress and other stimuli.

Wayne Curtis

Professor of Chemical Engineering
Regulation and signal transduction in plant secondary metabolism. Phytoremediation of hydrocarbons. Commercial chemical production in plants and plant tissue culture.

Dennis Decoteau

Professor of Horticulture

Claude dePamphilis

Professor of Biology
Genomics, bioinformatics, and molecular evolution. Origin and diversification of flowers and developmental pathways. Comparative genomics of plants, organelles, and plant gene families. Genomics, evolution, and functional biology of parasitic plants.

Francesco Di Gioia

Assistant Professor of Vegetable Crop Science

Francisco Dini-Andreote

Assistant Professor of Plant Science
Microbiome, plant-microbe interactions, and community ecology. Harnessing the plant microbiome to enhance protection against biotic and abiotic stresses.

Sjoerd Willem Duiker

Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics

Luis Duque

Assistant Research Professor of Storage Root Physiology

David Eissenstat

Professor of Woody Plant Physiology
Plant physiological ecology. Root biology and physiology. Plant carbon and nutrient economies.

Paul Esker

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Field Crop Pathology

Gary Felton

Professor and Department Head of Entomology
Plant-herbivore interactions. Adaptive responses of herbivores to plant defenses. Herbivore cues recognized by plants with specific focus on biochemical and molecular analysis of salivary secretions.

Majid Foolad

Professor of Plant Genetics
Genetic characterization of resistance/tolerance to biotic/abiotic stresses, and genes/QTLs contributing to tomato fruit quality. Investigation of genes/QTLs for directed crop improvement and germplasm enhancement. Tomato cultivar development & release.

David Geiser

Professor of Plant Pathology
Molecular evolutionary genetics of pathogenic and toxigenic fungi.

Leland Glenna

Professor of Rural Sociology and Science, Technology, and Society

John Golbeck

Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Light reactions in photosynthesis. Structure and function of photosystem I and the heliobacterial reaction center. Regulation and bioassembly of iron-sulfur clusters in cyanobacteria and plants. Plant and bacterial metalloproteins. Generation using Photosystem I, hydrogenase, and molecular wire technology.

Ying Gu

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Mechanism of cellulose biosynthesis in higher plants. Genetic modification of plant cell wall to scale-up biofuel production.

Mark Guiltinan

J. Franklin Styer Professor of Horticultural Botany; Professor of Plant Molecular Biology; Director, Endowed Program in the Molecular Biology of Cocoa
Plant functional genomics, metabolomics and biotechnology. Identification of key genes for disease resistance and important traits in the tree crop Theoboma cacao, the Chocolate tree.

Carley Gwin

Assistant Teaching Professor

Margaret Hoffman

Assistant Professor of Plant Science

Leslie Horner

Forest Stewardship Program Associate

David Huff

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

Sarah Ivory

Assistant Professor of Geoscience

Michael Jacobson

Professor of Forest Resources

María del Mar Jiménez Gasco

Associate Professor of Plant Pathology and Environmental Mictobiology

John Kaminski

Professor of Turfgrass Science

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.

Heather Karsten

Associate Professor of Crop Production/Ecology

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.

Armen Kemanian

Associate Professor of Production Systems and Modeling
Agricultural Systems, Agricultural and Natural Systems Modeling, Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling, Bioenergy Systems, Coupled Hydrologic and Nutrient Modeling, and Plant Competition

Gretchen Kuldau

Associate Professor of Plant Pathology

Joshua Lambert

Associate 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

Jesse Lasky

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

Laura Leites

Associate Research Professor of Quantitative Forest Ecology
Adaptation to climate in forest trees, seed movement under a changing climate, forest ecosystem modeling.

Hong Ma

Huck Distinguished Research Professor of Plant Molecular Biology; 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

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

James Marden

Associate Director of Operations, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences; Professor of Biology
How physiological variation within species affects their ecology and evolution. Primarily with insects, but recently also with plants, and a particular interest in allelic variation in the pathogen resistance genes of tropical trees.

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

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

Cristina Rosa

Assistant 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

Katriona Shea

Professor of Biology; Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences
The use of ecological theory in population management.

Michael Skvarla

Extension Educator; Director, Insect Identification Lab

Ming Tien

Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Characterization and biochemical analysis of cellulose synthesis in a variety of organisms. Mechanism and regulation of fungal degradation of lignin. Dissimilatory Iron reduction.

James Tumlinson

Director of the Center for Chemical Ecology; Ralph O. Mumma Professor of Entomology
Insect chemical ecology. Plant-insect interactions. Insect attractants.

John Wallace

Assistant Professor of Weed Science

Josephine Wee

Assistant Professor of Food Science

Peter Wilf

Professor of Geosciences

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.