Melissa Lacey

MelissaMelissa joined the Van Volkenburgh lab in 2012. Her interests center on the functional significance of leaf shape: why specific shapes continue to evolve, and how shape contributes to the plants ability to combat abiotic stress. Plants are resilient and dynamic organisms, but are now faced with more severe and abrupt climactic fluctuations than ever before. One way they have adapted and continue to acclimate to changing climates is through modification of leaf size and shape. Through developmental modification of shape the light capture, sugar production, temperature, and water loss are optimized each growing season. Her research will include anatomical as well as physiological techniques to understand how morphology influences the physiology of leaf functions in water limiting conditions.

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