Barbara Demmig-Adams

Professor of Plant Ecology and Molecular Biology, University of Colorado Boulder

In my research, we integrate the ecology, physiology, and anatomy of plants. A unifying theme of our studies is the question of how plants survive and thrive in their natural environment, including extreme conditions. We compare and contrast these characteristics in plant species with different growth patterns and adaptation strategies. Recently, our group has focused on the regulation of photosynthesis by the demand for energy from the whole organism. This research is identifying opportunities to increase the maximal photosynthetic productivity of plants and algae to benefit food and biofuel production. At this time, we are identifying control points through which the leaf’s pipelines for water supply and sugar-export help maintain high photosynthetic productivity under challenging heat, drought, or cold conditions. At the moment, we are studying plants adapted to cope equally well with blistering summer heat and cold spells in spring or fall; we hope to provide novel targets for crop enhancement. Another topic of interest is optimization of plant growth during long space missions.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Plant Ecology and Molecular Biology, University of Colorado Boulder