We use a variety of physiological techniques and plant species with the aim to discover how leaves grow and how plants use growth responses to adapt to their environment. We focus mainly on leaves: how does light influence leaf expansion and development? We are particularly interested in discovering the specific events involved in both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic signaling pathways leading to cell expansion. This involves identification and characterization of the photoreceptors involved in light perception and signal transduction, the electrophysiological events at the plasma membrane which follow light-perception and the biophysical components of cell expansion and leaf tissue growth.
Often these questions lead us to other related ones, such as, how do corn plants respond to density stress? What mechanisms allow them to sense density and respond by changing leaf angle? How do Venus Fly Traps close? And how do tendrils coil? To find out more about the plant species, techniques and equipment we use or about the specifics of particular ongoing projects, visit Research Projects.