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Faculty

William Crepet

William Crepet

Professor
William Crepet is interested in developing departmental preeminence in basic plant biology at a time when progress in basic plant biology research is important to critical societal needs. His immediate goal has been to build strength in various facets of plant molecular biology including plant biochemistry with complementary strength in the area of plant systematics including theory and molecular systematics.
Jerry Davis

Jerrold Davis

Professor
Jerrold Davis' principal area of interest is systematic biology, and within this area, my research is focused on systematics of the grass family (Poaceae) and other monocots. He is engaged in studies of phylogenetic relationships within the grass family (Poaceae) and across monocots as a whole, using molecular, genomic, and morphological character sets.
Jeff J. Doyle

Jeff J. Doyle

Professor
Jeff Doyle's training is as a plant systematist, studying the evolutionary relationships of flowering plants. Beginning with his doctoral work he has been interested in genome duplication, and his work in this area involves comparative genomics of polyploid species. Most of this work involves the large and economically important legume family ("beans"), where projects include studies addressing the origin of nodulation (symbiotic nitrogen fixation) and the study of gene families involved in cell wall synthesis, aimed at developing alfalfa (a polyploid) as a biofuels crop, particularly soybean and its wild relatives.
frank

Margaret Frank

Assistant Professor
The Frank lab uses grafting as a tool to look at the coordination of growth and development between root and shoot systems. While certain graft combinations have been shown to increase tolerance to a variety of abiotic and biotic stresses, and significantly increase yield, the mechanisms underlying the success of these graft combinations is poorly understood. The lab uses genetics, genomics, and phenomics tools to explore and modify grafting-induced traits. 
 
Susheng Gan

Susheng Gan

Professor
Susheng Gan's research focuses on molecular regulatory mechanisms of plant senescence and dimensional control of gene expression in plants. Senescence limits the yield of many crops and contributes to much of the post-harvest loss of vegetables and fruits. His long-term goals are to unveil the molecular regulatory mechanisms of senescence, and based on the molecular findings to devise ways to manipulate senescence for agricultural improvement.
Maria A. Gandolfo

Maria A. Gandolfo

Associate Professor
Paleobotany and Plant anatomy, with emphasis on plant evolution and development, origin of angiosperms, Cretaceous and Tertiary floras and paleoclimate of North and South America.
James Giovannoni

James Giovannoni

Adjunct Professor
James Giovannoni's research focus is molecular and genetic analysis of fruit ripening and related signal transduction systems with emphasis on the relationship of fruit ripening to nutritional quality. He is involved in development of tools for genomics of the Solanaceae including participation in the International Tomato Sequencing Project.
Maureen Hanson

Maureen Hanson

Professor
Dr. Hanson has two different research programs, related through their dependence on modern methods for examining genome sequences and gene expression. Her research in plant biology has always focused on the genome-containing organelles of plants, chloroplasts and mitochondria.  Her second research program concerns the pathophysiology of the human illness Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. 
eric hoffman

Eric Hoffman

Adjunct Professor
In addition to being a distinguished scientist with expertise in neurology,  molecular genetics and biochemistry, Eric is an entrepreneur who has developed important drugs now  in various stages of FDA approval process and has started drug companies (ReveraGen, BioPharma, and Agada BioSciences)—is CEO of one, as well as being Associate Dean for Research at Binghamton University’s new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Eric is an important member of Cornell's Taskforce on Plants and Medicinal Science for students interested in both plants and various aspects of human health—one that would provide alternative entry into the health professions.

Jian Hua

Professor
Plants monitor and respond to their environment constantly, which is essential for their viability and fitness. The ultimate goal of Jian Hua's research is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which plants perceive environmental signals and integrate signals to regulate their growth and development.
Georg Jander

Georg Jander

Adjunct Associate Professor
The Jander Lab uses genetic and biochemical approaches to study plant-insect interactions and plant amino acid metabolism. We employ the small crucifer Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) as a model system for most of our research.
fay-wei li

Fay-Wei Li

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Fay-Wei Li is broadly interested in the evolutionary processes at the gene, genome, and microbiome levels that shaped the plant diversity. We mostly focus on “seed-free” plants (ferns, lycophytes, and bryophytes), and anything that has a weird biology. He is an assistant professor at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI). View his BTI profile.
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Gaurav Moghe

Assistant Professor
Gaurav Moghe is interested in understanding the evolution of plant specialized metabolism and its potential applications in agriculture, nutrition and medicine. His research program heavily utilizes plant natural variation and integrates diverse fields such as genomics, metabolomics, biochemistry, computational biology and molecular evolution.
June Nasrallah

June Nasrallah

Professor
June Nasrallah obtained her B.Sc. in Biology at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and her Ph.D. in Genetics at Cornell University.
Karl Niklas

Karl Niklas

Professor
Karl Niklas is a plant evolutionist who uses physics, engineering, and mathematics to understand the relationship between plant form and function and how this relationship has evolved in consort with the physical environment over the course of Earth's history.
Kevin Nixon

Kevin Nixon

Professor
Kevin Nixon has diverse research interests in the theory and practice of plant systematics. His taxonomic interests include higher level analysis of seed plant and angiosperm relationships, and relationships of Hamamamelid and Rosid ordinal and family relationships. Kevin works at the generic and species level within Fagaceae, and in particular in Quercus.
Thomas Owens

Thomas Owens

Associate Professor
Thomas Owens' overall goals at Cornell continue to be improving the pedagogy of instruction, particularly in large classroom environments. He continues to work on several aspects of the biology curriculum. Thomas Owens chairs several committees in the Office of Undergraduate Biology focused on teaching and research in the Biology major.

Wojtek Pawlowski

Associate Professor
We study meiosis, a specialized cell division that is the basis of inheritance and the most important source of genetic variation in plants.  Our particular goal is elucidating why recombination predominantly takes place in specific chromosome regions, called hotspots, and finding how we can alter this process to improve plant breeding.  We are also interested in understanding how meiosis and recombination contribute to plant evolution, specifically the formation and survival of new polyploids.  We use two model plant systems, maize, one of the most important crops in the world, and a common weed, Arabidopsis thaliana.
Miguel Pineros

Miguel Pineros

Adjunct Associate Professor
Roots are the essential organ for plant nutrition, absorbing water and nutrients. Research in the Pineros lab focuses on the role of two distinct, but complementary aspects of root biology and plant adaptation to environmental stresses: root system architecture and membrane transport. Applying a combination of approaches such as electrophysiology, molecular biology, cellular, and whole plant physiology, we are elucidating plant responses mediating calcium signaling, crop acid soil resistance, and mineral transport.
 
Adrienne Roeder

Adrienne Roeder

Associate Professor
Adrienne Roeder is fascinated by how beautiful and complex patterns form during development. The patterning process generally requires that one cell adopts a different identity from its neighbor. Patterns are generally formed while the cells are growing and dividing, yet the coordination of cell division and growth with the process of patterning is only beginning to be understood.
Joss Rose

Jocelyn Rose

Professor and Director, Institute of Biotechnology
Researchers in the Rose lab investigate the formation, function, and evolution of plant structural polymers, as well as extracellular processes associated with developmental and environmental responses. We use a broad range of analytical approaches, including genomic and proteomic technologies, working with experimental systems that range from tomato fruit to algae, to study cell wall and cuticle biology. At the spatial level we are interested in cell and tissue type specialization, particularly at the surface of plant organs.
Research in the Scanlon lab focuses on mechanisms of plant development and evolution of plant morphology. Utilizing comparative developmental genetics and functional genomics, he is especially interested in the processes whereby meristems make leaves and embryos make meristems. The lab exploits leaf and embryo mutants of maize, Arabidopsis, tomato, Selaginella, and the moss Physcomitrella as the foundation in comparative studies of these fundamental processes in plant development.
The Specht lab uses morphological and developmental techniques combined with molecular genetics, comparative genomics, and evolutionary biology to study the natural diversity of plants and better understand the forces creating and sustaining this diversity.  This research incorporates elements of systematics, developmental genetics and molecular evolution to study the patterns and processes associated with plant speciation and diversification.
David Stern

David Stern

Adjunct Professor
The underlying research themes in the Stern laboratory are chloroplast biology, bioenergy and nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions. Within this framework, they study how chloroplast genes and metabolic activities are regulated by the products of nuclear genes, usually acting at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level. Areas of emphasis include the roles of ribonucleases and RNA-binding proteins and assembly of the carbon-fixing enzyme Rubisco.
Dennis Stevenson

Dennis Stevenson

Adjunct Professor
Dennis Stevenson's major research interests in the past few years have focused upon the evolution and classification of the Cycadales (cycads) and their placement in seed plant phylogeny. To this end he is conducting research on various facets of the biology of the Cycadales and Gnetales.
Robert Turgeon

Robert Turgeon

Professor
Robert Turgeon conducts interdisciplinary research on the cell biology and physiology of phloem transport. Integral to these projects are studies of leaf development, the structure and function of plasmodesmata, and virus movement. Molecular, physiological, and anatomical techniques are employed in approximately equal measure.
Klaas Van Wijk

Klaas van Wijk

Professor
Research in the van Wijk lab is focused on i) bundle sheath and mesophyll cell specific differentiation of chloroplasts in leaves of the C4 plant maize, and ii) in chloroplast biogenesis and protein homeostasis in Arabidopsis thaliana, with a particular focus on the Clp protease machinery. We use a multi-disciplinary approach, with emphasis on large scale comparative proteomics and mass spectrometry, bioinformatics and reverse genetics.
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Olena Vatamaniuk

Associate Professor
The Vatamaniuk lab studies molecular mechanisms of homeostasis of micronutrients such as copper, iron and zinc and their interactions with a toxic element cadmium as pertains to plant growth, development, yield, food safety and human health. We use model plants, Arabidopsis thaliana, Brachypodium distachyon, and most recently grain crops, wheat and rice and a variety of functional genomics approaches including high-precision analytical tools such as synchrotron x-ray fluorescent microscopy to identify and characterize genes that control iron, copper, zinc and cadmium uptake into the plant, their delivery to the shoot and loading into grains. Our ultimate goal is to contribute basic knowledge to the generation of novel biofortification strategies as well as improving grain yield and safety. Olena is a joint faculty member with Plant Biology and an Associate Professor in SCS. See her SCS profile here.
Randy Wayne

Randy Wayne

Associate Professor
Randy Wayne's research has focused on questioning the assumptions underlying the current quantum electrodynamic theories and orthodox interpretation of the photon. As a teacher, he has tried to pass on a deep and broad knowledge of biology, a love for biology and an ability to critically and ethically think about biological research and its consequences.

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