Faculty

Photo of Salah Abdel-Ghany
Salah Abdel-Ghany - Special Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Colorado State University

Photo of Lorinda K. Anderson
Lorinda K. Anderson - Special Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Colorado State University
I am interested in the unique first division of meiosis. We use a variety of organisms, both plant and animal, to study this important and evolutionarily conserved process.

Photo of Lisa Angeloni
Lisa Angeloni - Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
My research focuses on reproductive strategies and how they vary depending on individual and environmental traits. I work on factors that affect reproductive investment of hermaphrodites (e.g. sea slugs), life history strategies of smallmouth bass, and mating behavior of Trinidadian guppies.

Photo of Michael F. Antolin
Michael F. Antolin - Chair and Professor
BA: University of Pennsylvania; MSc: University of Alberta, Canada; PhD: Florida State University
My laboratory group works on the effects of fragmented and patchy populations in evolution, genetics, and ecology. Currently, we study the epidemiology of plague in natural populations of black-tailed prairie dogs and other small rodents on the short grass prairies of north-central Colorado, and are part of the Laramie Foothills Chronic Wasting Disease Project, where we study the genetics of CWD in mule deer in relation to spatial epidemiology and genetics http://www.nrel.colostate.edu/projects/modelingCWD/.

Photo of Mauricio Antunes
Mauricio Antunes - Special Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Purdue University
My research focuses on using the tools of Synthetic Biology to program plants and plant cells to perform controlled tasks, producing novel and useful traits.

Photo of Patricia Bedinger
Patricia Bedinger - Professor
Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
The work in my laboratory centers on reproductive barriers between higher plant species, in particular between species wild tomatoes. We are examining the molecular and cellular nature of interspecific reproductive barriers (IRB).

Photo of Daniel R Bush
Daniel R Bush - Professor and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Ph.D., UC Berkeley
My research focuses on sugar and amino acid allocation from sites of primary assimilation to import-dependent sinks in plants. This is a fundamental process that allows plants to function as multicellular organisms. We use molecular, genetic and biochemical tools to define the mechanisms and regulation of this essential process.

Photo of Gregory Florant
Gregory Florant - Professor
Ph.D., Stanford University
My research interests are centered on the mechanisms that animals use to adapt to different situations. Recent investigations have focused on animals that hibernate and the mechanisms they use to regulate energy stores.

Photo of W. Chris Funk
W. Chris Funk - Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Montana
My research focuses on conservation genomics and evolutionary ecology of vertebrates and stream insects. Current projects include: (1) conservation genomics of endangered species; (2) the effects of gene flow on adaptation, fitness, and population dynamics; and (3) the vulnerability of stream organisms to climate change.

Photo of Deborah Garrity
Deborah Garrity - Associate Professor
Ph.D., Cornell University
The embryonic heart begins pumping blood even before the cardiac organ is fully formed. Our group is interested in the genetic and biomechanical factors that contribute to normal heart development. We use the zebrafish model to study how the initial heart tube transitions into a rhythmic, efficient multi-chambered organ. Our approaches include quantitative live imaging, developmental genetic techniques, and modern genomic tools.

Photo of Cameron Ghalambor
Cameron Ghalambor - Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Montana
My research is focused on the empirical study of adaptation in natural populations of birds and fish. I am particularly interested in how trade-offs are resolved during the process of adaptive evolution in life history, behavioral, and physiological traits. We use a variety of field and lab techniques to test and develop theory while also striving to understand the natural history of the organisms we study.

Photo of Kim Hoke
Kim Hoke - Assistant Professor
I am interested in the neural, developmental, and genetic mechanisms of behavior. I currently use both field and lab experiments to understand the mechanisms of frog mating decisions. Ongoing projects relate variation in the brain to evolution of mate choice and speciation, integrating measures of neural function and behavior with studies of neural structure, development, gene expression, and quantitative genetics.

Photo of Shane Kanatous
Shane Kanatous - Associate Professor
My research combines my expertise in exercise and skeletal muscle physiology with molecular techniques to focus on oxygen metabolism; especially on the control and regulation of skeletal and cardiac muscle adaptations to extreme environmental conditions such as hypoxia. The ultimate goal is to enhance our understanding of molecular changes associated with hypoxia and translate these results for therapeutic applications in the treatment of myopathies.

Photo of Ken Kassenbrock
Ken Kassenbrock - Special Assistant Professor

Photo of Alan Knapp
Alan Knapp - Professor
Ph.D., University of Wyoming
My research focuses on plants with a goal of understanding ecological patterns and processes from the leaf to the ecosystem level. Research is conducted primarily in the field utilizing the comparative approach and experimental manipulations of key ecological drivers. Areas of interest include: plant physiological ecology, ecosystems ecology, climate change, long-term ecological research, invasive plant species, restoration ecology, fire and herbivory effects on communities and ecossytems.

Photo of June Medford
June Medford - Professor
Ph.D., Yale University
We work on Plant Synthetic Biology. Synthetic Biology is forward engineering of biological organisms for specific purposes both basic and applied. On the basic side, we are using synthetic biology to understand complex natural processes such as signal transduction and pattern formation. On the applied side we are using synthetic biology to produce new types of plants and plant traits such as highly specific plant detectors, plants producing biofuels and plant actuators.

Photo of Tai Montgomery
Tai Montgomery - Assistant Professor
Our lab studies small non-coding RNAs and their roles in gene regulation and genome defense.

Photo of Janice Moore
Janice Moore - Professor
Ph.D., University of New Mexico
I am interested in the evolutionary ecology of parasite-host interactions. I study the effects of parasites on animal behavior, as well as the effects of parasites on other parasites in communities. Currently, I'm especially intrigued by behavioral fever, and the fitness costs and benefits associated with shifting body temperature.

Photo of Kevin Morey
Kevin Morey - Special Assistant Professor
Ph.D., New Mexico State University
My research interest is two component signal transduction. My current work includes both basic and applied research on two-component signal transduction for use in plant biodetectors.

Photo of Rachel Mueller
Rachel Mueller - Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Research in my lab focuses on (1) the evolution of gigantic genomes in salamanders, (2) the formation of new species in salamanders, and (3) general approaches for utilizing molecular data in estimating the Tree of Life.

Photo of Don Mykles
Don Mykles - Professor; Director University Honors Program
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
I study the regulation of molting and limb regeneration in decapod crustaceans using molecular biological, transcriptomic, and proteomic methods. I am also Director of the University Honors Program (http://www.honors.colostate.edu).

Photo of Dhruba Naug
Dhruba Naug - Associate Professor
I combine my interests in behavioral and cognitive ecology to understand the functioning of individuals and social groups. My research involves experimental work in behavior and physiology complemented by approaches based on individual based modeling.

Photo of Saiprasad Palusa
Saiprasad Palusa - Special Assistant Professor

Photo of Graham Peers
Graham Peers - Assistant Professor
My primary interests lie in the fields of photosynthesis and algal eco-physiology. The lab will combine molecular biology, physiology and modern “–omics” techniques to discover novel ways that algae, cyanobacteria and plants collect light energy plus CO2 and convert it into biomass. These discoveries hold promise for improving photosynthetic yields of crops. In particular, I’m interested in the diversity of mechanisms that algae use to protect themselves from too much light and other abiotic stresses.

Photo of Marinus Pilon
Marinus Pilon - Associate Professor
Ph.D., Ulrecht University, The Netherlands
My lab investigates how the photosynthetic machinery in plants acquires the essential metal cofactors copper and iron. These metal ions are required for photosynthesis and thus plant productivity, yet they are toxic at too high concentrations. We use genetics together with whole plant physiology, cell and molecular biology and biochemistry in the model plant Arabidopsis to unravel the regulation of copper delivery and the assembly of iron-sulfur clusters in proteins.

Photo of Elizabeth Pilon-Smits
Elizabeth Pilon-Smits - Professor
Ph.D., Utrecht University, The Netherlands
In the Pilon-Smits lab we are interested in processes by which plants accumulate and detoxify environmental pollutants, as well as in ecological and evolutionary aspects of selenium hyperaccumulation. We study these processes from the molecular level to the field. Our approaches include genomics, genetics, biotechnology, biochemistry, whole-plant physiology, and ecological studies. These studies are aimed to gain knowledge about basic biological processes, but have applications for the use of plants for environmental cleanup or as fortified foods.

Photo of N. LeRoy Poff
N. LeRoy Poff - Professor
Ph.D., Colorado State University
My research interests are guided by the broad consideration of how ecological processes and patterns are constrained by habitat structure and environmental variability at multiple scales in aquatic ecosystems. Our results provide a basis for predicting aquatic community attributes at geographic scales and for ecological responses to land-use alterations and regional climate changes.

Photo of Karen Raines
Karen Raines - Special Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Colorado State University

Photo of A.S.N. Reddy
A.S.N. Reddy - Professor
Ph.D., Jawaharlal Nehru University
One of the fundamental questions in plant biology is how plants sense and respond to environmental (abiotic and biotic) and hormonal signals that regulate diverse cellular processes and various aspects of plant growth and development. Our group has been studying i) calcium-mediated signal transduction mechanisms with emphasis on calcium sensors and their target proteins, ii) mechanisms that regulate basic and alternative splicing of pre-messenger RNAs in response to stresses, iii) disease resistance, iv) cell wall degrading enzymes for biofuel production and iv) synthetic signal transduction circuits in plants. We use molecular, cell biological, genetic, biochemical, bioinformatics and computational tools to accomplish our research goals. Arabidopsis, maize, potato and Miscanthus are used in our research. Studies on computational aspects of alternative splicing and protein-protein interactions are being done in collaboration with Asa Ben-Hur in the Department of Computer Science at CSU (http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~asa/projects.html).

Photo of Arathi Seshadri
Arathi Seshadri - Special Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Indian Institute of Science
I am interested in understanding how reproductive strategies are modulated as plants acclimatize to environmental stress. The central question is to understand whether novel trait expressions induced by the environment are adaptive and sufficient in magnitude to facilitate changes in breeding system.

Photo of Mark Simmons
Mark Simmons - Professor and Herbarium Curator
Ph.D., Cornell University
My research program consists of two interrelated components: phylogeny and taxonomy of the flowering-plant family Celastraceae (spindle-tree family), and conceptual aspects of molecular phylogenetics. Molecular phylogenetics uses genomic data (typically DNA sequences) to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among species. This field is playing an increasingly central role in biology, from inferring the diversification of multigene families, to tracking invasive species, conservation of protected species, as evidence in criminal investigations, and fighting bioterrorism.

Photo of Dan Sloan
Dan Sloan - Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Virginia
My research investigates the evolutionary forces that create diversity in genome size, structure, and function. I am particularly interested in the evolution of so-called "resident genomes" that exist inside the cells of another organism, including those of mitochondria and plastids in eukaryotes and endosymbiotic bacteria in many insects. Much of my current work focuses on how these resident genomes co-evolve with the host genome.

Photo of Melinda Smith
Melinda Smith - Associate Professor, Director SGS-RIC
Ph.D., Kansas State University
My research focuses on understanding the consequences of human-caused global changes, especially the impacts of climatic changes, biological invasions, eutrophication (e.g., increased N deposition), and altered disturbance regimes for biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Within this context, my research addresses questions about the functional roles of species in ecosystems, the causes and impacts of loss and gain of genetic and species diversity, the factors that influence species coexistence and patterns of species abundance, and the relative strength of bottom-up (resources) vs. top-down (consumers) controls in structuring communities. My research employs a mixture of empirical approaches (observational, experimental, comparative and synthetic) and utilizes C4-dominated grasslands as experimentally tractable and dynamic model systems.

Photo of Stephen Stack
Stephen Stack - Professor
Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
Recombination nodules (RNs) are ellipsoidal particles lying on the central element of the synaptonemal complex (SC) during zygotene and pachytene of meiosis in eukaryotic organisms. RNs seem to reside at the sites of reciprocal recombination events in late pachytene nuclei. We are studying the temporal development, spatial distribution, and biochemistry of RNs and SCs.

Photo of David Steingraeber
David Steingraeber - Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
My interest's center on the ecological significance of plant form and structure. Topics of study in my laboratory include the following: patterns of shoot development, branching, and leaf placement in different environments; modular and clonal growth; and the conservation and population biology of rare plants.

Photo of Joseph von Fischer
Joseph von Fischer - Associate Professor
Ph.D., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
I am interested in the interactions of plants and microbes (with each other and with their environment) that affect the way ecosystems work. In order to study the inherently fragile, soil-plant-microbe systems with minimal disturbance, I use field and lab measures of biogeochemical processes, stable isotope and physical tracers, and frequently interpret these results with mathematical models. I also use molecular tools to characterize microbial community composition and understand the degree to which biogeochemical patterns are structured by ecophysiological differences among microbial communities. Work in my lab spans a variety of ecosystems including temperate grasslands, wetlands and Arctic tundra.

Photo of Diana Wall
Diana Wall - Professor
Ph.D., University of Kentucky
My research focuses on soil ecology and how soil invertebrate biodiversity influences ecosystem processes. Experimental research in field and lab measures factors affecting distribution patterns of soil animals at small to global scales and their influence on above-belowground linkages. A key aspect is understanding how soil biodiversity contributes to long term sustainability of soil ecosystems.

Photo of Colleen Webb
Colleen Webb - Associate Professor
Ph.D., Cornell University
My research focuses on the evolution of traits important in ecological interactions. The interplay of evolutionary and ecological processes on different time scales can result in unexpected outcomes such as population extinction or ecosystem resilience. We use mathematical and computer simulation techniques to model these processes.