Credit: Ruth Finkelstein Lab

Plant biologists in MCDB study mechanisms controlling plant growth and development in response to internal and environmental signals, plant interactions with other organisms, biochemistry of fruit ripening, and yeast fermentation. These studies focus on gene networks controlling hormonal regulation of seed development and stress responses, browning disorders in fruit, and biosynthesis of volatiles by yeast strains that are commonly used for commercial wine and beer production. Members of the plant biology group use diverse approaches including biochemistry, cell biology, genetics and genomics, and RNA profiling to study model plants such as Arabidopsis. In addition, MCDB's plant biologists collaborate locally with researchers in EEMB, as well as with numerous laboratories around the world.

Affiliated Faculty

Teaching Professor
Biochemistry and molecular genetics of plant and yeast secondary metabolism; research on improving undergraduate science education with a particular emphasis on improving outcomes for students from groups that are underrepresented in STEM.
Faculty Graduate Advisor
Molecular genetics of plant development; analysis of abscisic acid signaling networks.
Associate Teaching Professor
Associate Dean- Division of Undergraduate Education
Instruction and mentorship of biology majors; research into how mentorship and improved course structure influence student academic success and retention in the major.