Plant Resilience Under Climate Threats

During the 21st century Climate change and Food sustainability will reach the point of maximum danger. The Challenges represented by the impact of climate change on the terrestrial biosphere and its repercussions for supplying food to the projected 9-10 billions people worldwide by 2050 will be unprecedented. On the one hand, food yields should continue increasing to keep with population growth. On the other hand, plant species will have to adapt to the fast changes in climate and increase their resilience to pest, temperature and water limitations. These environmental changes are already threatening crop yield but their long-term impact on ecosystems and food productivity remains unclear. My general interest lies in the biochemical and physiological resilience of plants to these environmental stresses. In particular, I am interested in understanding how kinetics regulation and substrate requirements of key enzymatic processes define plant productivity and control their survival. These key enzymatic processes are essential to accurately predict current and future impact of climate change on ecosystem productivity and biogeochemical as well as defining new target for crop improvements in their future resilience to Climate variabilities.

My research combines theoretical and empirical approaches to disentangle the complexity of plant metabolic pathway. The empirical approach includes field measurements in temperate and sub-arctic deciduous ecosystems as well as greenhouse environmental manipulation. The theoretical approach includes assessment of current Terrestrial ecosystems models' limitations and design and sensitivity-tests of new parameterizations for respiratory COproduction. 

Current projects:

Shedding Light on the benefit of Mycorrhizal network to improve plant resilience to pests

Trees Biodiversity and resilience to climate change

Environmental stable Isotopes as tool and research target

Photosynthetic Light limitation as a target for future yield improvement 

Designing new tools for Plant Physiology Measurements

Scientific Computing: Princeton University Python Community

Lab members and Collaborators

Olivia Trase '17

Stephen Pacala

Kevin Griffin 

Elena Shevliakova

Sergey Malyshev

Kelly Caylor

Cynthia Gerlein-Safdi

Former Students 

Natalie Saenz '15

Jordan Lubkeman '16

Atleigh Forden '16

Alana Reynolds '18

Jackie Jones '18

Jacob Eisenberg '16

Ethan Vasquez '16

Joseph Redmond '18

"Do all you can with what you have in the time you have in the place you are!" Xolani Nkosi