Areas of Expertise
Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology
Butler Assignment (classes or work duties)
The World of Plants, Principles of Botany, Practical Molecular Biology, Plant Physiology, Capstone, and Introductory Biology for majors and non-majors.
Ph.D. and B.S., University of Maryland; M.A., Brandeis University; Postdoctoral training, Michigan State University
Association Memberships (professional/educational)
American Oil Chemists Society; American Society of Plant Physiologists, Midwest Section; International Society for Plant Molecular Biology; Indiana Academy of Science; Phi Beta Kappa; Phi Kappa Phi
I specialize in plant lipid biochemistry and molecular biology. Vegetable oil isn't just for frying and salad dressing. It's already used in products from cosmetics to airplane parts, and is expected to become increasingly important as fossil fuel supplies dwindle. One approach to the development of new industrial oils has been to study how plants make and correctly store unusual fatty acids. I am particularly interested in the synthesis and genetic engineering of fatty acids containing three-membered rings. Student projects in my lab have involved analytical (gas chromatography, thin layer chromatography), molecular (DNA isolation, cloning strategies, electrophoresis) and sterile (bacteria, tissue culture) techniques.