Professor of Plant Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
"We integrate modern biochemical, molecular, and cell biology tools to describe the organization and control of plant carbohydrate and phosphate metabolism"
Research: We are studying the organization and control of plant (especially seed) metabolism, and molecular/biochemical adaptations that mediate efficient acquisition and use of phosphorus, a crucial but environmentally-limiting plant macronutrient. This research has important long-term agronomic applications including the: (i) targeted modification of storage oil versus protein levels in oilseeds such as canola or soybean, and (ii) metabolic engineering of phosphorus-efficient crops, urgently needed to reduce mankind’s rampant but inefficient use of unsustainable and polluting phosphorus-containing fertilizers.
Teaching: My classes emphasize: (i) development of critical thinking and communication skills, and (ii) the pivotal role that basic research in biochemistry and molecular biology plays in developing effective biotechnological applications via metabolic engineering. In addition to traditional lecturing, I teach a pair seminar courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Course Topics: Comparative Biochemistry, Biochemical Adaptations of Life to Extreme Environments, Intermediary Plant Metabolism, Plant Physiology