Studies in plant biology in the Division of Biological Sciences span scales from genes to landscapes, explore a diverse array of biological phenomena, and employ an extensive range of approaches. Areas of particular concentration include growth and development, cell biology, species conservation and biodiversity, plant-insect interactions, genetics and genomics, evolution, and ecology. Faculty and students benefit from state-of-the-art plant growth facilities and research cores on campus as well as a larger, interactive community of plant biologists through the Interdisciplinary Plant Group.
Faculty & Research Interests
The genetic and metabolic control of seed amino acids’ composition
Chromosome evolution and function in plants and fruit fly
Genetic control of carbon partitioning in plants
Gene regulatory mechanisms controlling plant architecture traits in cereal crops
The genetics and consequences of maize domestication and breeding
Ecology and evolution in natural plant populations
Genetic control of phototropism in plants
Genetic regulation of meristem function in plants
Application of computational bioinformatics and molecular genomics to plant genomes.
Organization and gene content of mitochondrial genomes in plants
J. Chris Pires
Systematics, phylogenetics, and genome evolution of polyploidy plants
R. Keith Slotkin
Determining how transposable elements become epigenetically silenced
Spatial plant population and community ecology
John C. Walker
Molecular mechanisms regulating cellular signaling in plants
Katie Becklin, Ph.D.
AAUW Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas
“The biology department has been an incredible source of support for me as a scientist. During graduate school, I worked closely with a number of excellent faculty mentors who encouraged me to tackle difficult research questions and come up with innovative approaches. These people were instrumental in helping me become an independent scientist.”