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Plant Science and Biotechnology

M.S., M.P.S. & Ph.D.

plant science and biotech

Plants, as the base for ecological food chains, serve as the structural and functional foundation of natural and managed systems. The study of plant science and biotechnology provides opportunity in a broad range of specialties fundamental to the understanding of plants and their interaction with other organisms and for specializing in plant biotechnology.

Emphasis is on forests and related plant systems. Current research interests include dynamics of plant communities as affected by humans and the environment; mechanisms of plant succession; epidemiology of forest and urban tree diseases; taxonomy, physiology, growth and ultrastructure of fungi; heritability of wood properties and disease resistance of trees; biochemistry and physiology of plant stress response; photosynthesis; mycorrhizae; plant reproductive biology; genetic engineering; transformation; molecular evolution; phylogenetics; taxonomy; plant-pathogen interactions, tissue culture and study of ancient DNA.

Participating Faculty

  • John D. Castello; jdcastello@esf.edu
    plant virology, viruses and mycoplasma in urban and forest tree decline, forest pathology, microbiology, insect vectors
  • Martin Dovciak; mdovciak@esf.edu
    Plant Ecology, Forest Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Global Change, Ecosystem Management and Restoration
  • Danilo D. Fernando; dfernando@esf.edu
    plant structure and development, reproductive biology of conifers, pollen transformation, genomics and proteomics of pine pollen tube development, willow flowering and tissue culture, genetic diversity of rare and endangered ferns, and plant evolution, diversity and conservation.
  • Hyatt Green; hgreen@esf.edu
    Molecular Microbial Ecology, Microbial Water Quality, Microbial Biogeography, Host-Microbe Co-evolution, Fermentation Microbiology
  • Thomas R. Horton; trhorton@esf.edu
    mycorrhizal plant ecology, molecular ecology, ecology, fungal communities, mycology, fire ecology
  • Robin W. Kimmerer; rkimmer@esf.edu
    plant restoration ecology, bryology, bryoecology, restoration ecology, ethnobotany, conservation biology and bryophyte ecology, traditional ecological knowledge
  • Donald J. Leopold; djleopold@esf.edu
    forest and freshwater wetland ecology, conservation, and restoration, peatland ecology and conservation, local and regional controls of species richness and rarity, dynamics of plant communities as affected by man and environment, management for unique communities and rare species, dendrology, native plants, restoration ecology, rare species conservation
  • Gregory McGee; ggmcgee@esf.edu
    ecology, management and restoration of forest ecosystems; STEM education
  • Lee Newman; lanewman@esf.edu
    phytoremediation and molecular and cellular biology
  • William A. Powell; wapowell@esf.edu
    forest biotechnology, molecular plant-microbe interactions, genetic engineering in plant conservation, antimicrobial peptide design, plant gene design, plant pathology, molecular biology
  • John C. Stella; stella@esf.edu
    riparian and stream ecology, restoration ecology, watershed management, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, river restoration, arid-land and Mediterranean ecosystems

Current Graduate Students in Plant Science and Biotechnology


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Only currently registered students appear—new student names are added at the start of the academic year.

Yokshitha Reddy Bathula

ybathula@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Powell


Wenjun Cai

wcai02@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Newman


Erik Carlson

Erik Carlson

ehcarlso@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Powell

Graduate Research Topic
Utilization of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system to increase heritability of blight resistance in American Chestnut (Castanea dentata).

Undergraduate Study:
University of North Dakota (Biology)



Tyler Desmarais

trdesmar@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Powell


Adam Hoffman

Adam Hoffman

ashoffma@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Newman
Undergraduate Institute: University of South Carolina Columbia* (Biology)

Previous Graduate Study: University of South Carolina Columbia* (Environmental Health)



Amalia Kenyon

akenyon@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Newman


Masoumeh Khodaverdi

mkhodave@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Fernando


Dakota Matthews

dfmatthe@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Powell


Justin McMullen

jcmcmull@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Newman


Joseph Nasta

Joseph Nasta

jvnasta@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Green

Portfolio
Web Link

Personal Statement
My name is Joseph V. Nasta. I was born and raised on Long Island, NY, and am a student at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. I am a first year Master's student studying microbial evolution and bioremediation. I aspire to be an innovator in the field of Science Education, and a forerunner on the expanding knowledge base of Microbiology.

Graduate Research Topic
Microbial Evolution and Bioremediation

Favorite Quote
"Mistakes" is the word you're too embarrassed to use. You ought not to be. You're a product of a trillion of them. Evolution forged the entirety of sentient life on this planet using only one tool: the mistake. --- Robert Ford



Andrew Newhouse

Andrew Newhouse

aenewhou@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Powell

Graduate Research Topic
Regulatory Biotechnology, focusing on the federal review process for genetically engineered plants to be distributed or used for restoration.

Home Page
Web Link



Hannah Pilkey

hcpilkey@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Powell


Xueqing Xiong

xxiong04@syr.edu
Plant Science & Biotechnology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Powell