Pomona College with a bachelor's degree in physical chemistry
Ph.D in plant biophysics from Cambridge University
I work on biophysical aspects of water and solute transport in plants at the cellular, tissue, organ, and whole plant level. I am interested in how plants are designed to transport water in the xylem, carbohydrates in the phloem, symplasmic transport of organic and ionic solutes between cells, and transmembrane transport at the cellular level.
I have pioneered work on how drought stress impacts the ability of plants to transport water through xylem disfunction due to cavitation events and embolism of xylem conduits that impairs the efficiency of water transport. I am interested in how hydraulic efficiency of trees limits tree performance, i.e., gas exchange, growth rate, and carbon gain.
I am working with a team of French scientists at the INRA to study the ecophysiology of tropical trees in French Guiana.
I engaged in an extensive cooperative project (5-year contract) with the University of Alberta to work on the impact of drought and freezing stresses on the growth of trees in general and the application of this knowledge to tree improvement and agroforestry.