About the Lab

We are interested in how the shape or morphology of plants is determined. This is a fundamental question in developmental biology, with downstream applications in plant productivity and crop yields. Specifically, we aim to define the molecular and genetic pathways that control development. Recently, we have been studying cell-to-cell signaling, or how cells talk to each other, to coordinate their development and fate. Our two model organisms are maize, one of the world’s most important crops, and Arabidopsis, a “lab rat” plant that is ideal for fundamental studies of gene regulation and cell biology. We are also developing new projects to extend what we learn from these model systems to other cereal crop plants such as wheat, barley and rice, to learn how developmental genes have contributed to the selection of these different crop species.