Graduate Coordinator and Associate Professor of Biology
Ph.D. Plant Physiology. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1985
M.S. Plant Physiology. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1982
B.S. Biology. Pedagogic of Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela 1977
Joined University in: 1992
General Botany, Ecology, Plant Physiology, Plant Anatomy, Seminar in Biology, Advanced Topics in Biology
My current research interest is in the area of mineral toxicity in plants. My studies have focused on the effects of aluminum (Al) on plant growth and development. Aluminum is toxic and is the major contributing factor in the reduction of crop yields. Some native and cultivated plants have evolved strategies that limit Al-induced damage, but the biochemical and molecular bases for those strategies are unknown. Pivotal to the understanding of the biochemical and physiological bases underlying Al sensitivity and tolerance is to gather information on the mechanisms of Al transport and accumulation. Studies conducted in my laboratory using fluorometry techniques and isolated protoplasts and plasma membrane vesicles from wheat root tips have provided evidence for intracellular accumulation of Al. One of the immediate objectives in my laboratory is to further characterize Al transport across the plasma membrane of wheat root cells from Al-sensitive and Al-tolerant cultivars.