- Aim 1: Identify genes that confer drought tolerance and improve yields in crops.
- Aim 2: Develop and deploy imaging and remote-sensing technologies to understand plant response to environmental variation.
- Aim 3: Monitor plant health, growth and responses to the environment with remote optical sensing.
- Aim 4: Associate phenotypes with genotypes and environments and model plant productivity in changing environments.
Plant Team Lead
Dr. Todd MocklerDr. Todd Mockler is an Associate Member and Distinguished Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Dr. Mockler has expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, gene regulatory mechanisms, and environmental responses in plants. His research group is a major developer of imaging and data analysis required for high-throughput image-based plant phenotyping. Dr. Mockler shares responsibility for the overall strategy and execution of the work proposed for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
Plant Team Members
Dr. Ruthie Angelovici is Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at MU. She is a new faculty hire funded by Missouri Transect, beginning in Fall 2015. Her research is in the genetic and metabolic control of seed amino acids' composition.
Dr. Mikhail Berezin is Assistant Professor of Radiology at Washington University. He is an expert in optical spectroscopy and optical imaging of biological tissues. He is a member of the Plant Team and collaborates with the CI Team.
Dr. Joel Burken is Professor of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at MS&T. He works on UAV-based imaging--both RGB and multispectral--on the Plant Team.
Dr. ZhiQiang Chen is an Associate Professor in the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering. He is the PI on a seed grant funded by the Missouri Transect. His expertise are in soil-structure systems and multihazard life-cycle analysis, physical modeling and dynamic system identification, remote sensing and geoinformatics, digital imaging and machine vision for disaster scene understanding, crowdsourcing design for emergency response, and collaborative mobile-cloud computing.
Dr. Gui DeSouza is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at MU and an expert in visual sensor networks and robotics. His lab designed and deployed ground robots in maize and soy fields in collaboration with Felix Fritschi's research group.
Dr. Flavio Esposito was awarded a Missouri EPSCoR Seed Grant for August 1, 2017-July 31, 2018 period. He will be working with Dr. Sagan, Plant Team member, to design and implement data management architecture to help integrate and share data among Missouri Transect research. Dr. Esposito is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at SLU. His research centers mainly on networked systems, especially "network virtualization, network management, Software-Defined Networks (SDN), network architectures and wireless networks."
Dr. Felix Fritschi is Associate Professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at MU. His research focuses on field-based phenotyping of maize, development of phenotyping under field conditions using robotics, and physiological characterizations relevant to link plant responses to high-throughput methods of phenotyping. He is collaborating with Gui DeSouza on ground-platform imaging and with Jim Peterson on aerial-platform imaging.
Dr. Malia Gehan is an Assistant Member of the Danforth Center in St. Louis. She is a systems biologist that focuses on improving resistance to stress in plants. Dr. Gehan is a new faculty hire, with her start-up funds provided by the Missouri Transect program.
Dr. Vasit Sagan (a.k.a. Wasit Wulamu) is Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Science in the Center for Sustainability at Saint Louis University. He received a Missouri Transect seed grant in August 2015 to develop new methods for monitoring crop growth and management using UAS technology.
Dr. Alice Tipton joined the Science, Technology, and Mathematics Department at Lincoln University as Assistant Professor in January 2018. She will receive start-up funds from Missouri EPSCoR and will be collaborating with the Plant Team.
Dr. Chris Topp is an Assistant Member at the Danforth Center. His lab uses a phenomics approach to study crop root growth dynamics in response to environmental stress such as drought. He works closely with the Mockler Lab in root phenotyping in controlled environments.
Dr. Zhaozheng Yin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at MS&T. He works on the robotic platform to capture image data on plants indoors and outdoors and image analysis algorithms to monitor the growth process of plants.
Dr. Xiong Zhang is a new faculty hire at MS&T. He is an Associate Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Zhang’s research interests include remote sensing for geo-engineering applications, geothermal and ground source heat pump systems, soil stabilization and ground improvement, and frozen ground engineering.
Staff, Postdocs, and Students
Andrew Allee is a student at Lincoln University working with Dr. Alice Tipton.
Kee Archambault is a Lab Assistant working in Dr. Todd Mockler's lab at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
Sameer Aryal is articipating in the MO DIRT citizen soil science and working with Missouri Dept of Conservation on the prairie prescribed fire sensing using the hyperspectral cameras.