Who am I?
My goal is to understand why do plants die under drought stress and find the key physiological factors that can predict when plants will die from drought.
Some of these factors include the amount of water within living tissues of plants, the number of air bubbles in their vascular system, and the amount of sugars that plants have stored to use during times of stress.
I am also interested in the potential role that both fungal symbionts and parasites can have on either reducing or amplifying stress under drought.
Is this diseased?
The oaks from Minnesota are being attacked by an invasive fungi that makes them wilt! We need a way to detect it across the landscape so that forest managers can control it. We are using visible and near-infrared technology mounted on a plane and machine learning algorithms!
Stress at a glance
How cool would it be if we could tell how stressed a plant is and why by just looking at it? We are killing a few oaks and testing whether we can measure their physiology over time by just looking at how sunlight bounces off of them. This is called hyperspectral technology.
We have been growing ponderosa pine seedlings from two different geographic areas in our greenhouse for a year. It's time to see which variety can stand drought the longest without dying!
Fungus among us
Plants are not alone out there but rather surrounded by a multitude of organisms. Some, like fungi, help plants getting water and nutrients in exchange for sugars. These fungi establish networks that connect plants among each other. Could fungi help stressed plants by moving water and sugars from their healthy relatives? Let's find out!