Faculty KUDOS: Exciting news, grants, presentations off-campus

Faculty KUDOS: Exciting news, grants, presentations off-campus

NEWEST: Peter presented in RI and elected as an Executive Committee member; Andy's Research is on the Weather Channel!; Bruce receives funding for an alum;Te-Wen receives funding; Peter presents in Physics; Maki presents work co-authored with student and others; Kit Muma--Panel Discussion; Andy Smith receives Funding; Ian Woods Presented in Wisconsin; Nancy Jacobson Presented in California

Posted by Nancy Pierce at 8:46AM   |  Add a comment

Peter has been elected to serve as a member of the Executive Committee for the Northeastern Section of the American Society of Plant Biologist.

Posted by Nancy Pierce at 3:21PM   |  Add a comment

Peter Melcher presented. "A new approach to measure hydraulic resistance in plants".  American Society of Plant Biology Northeastern sectional meeting in Rhode Island, March 30th, 2014.

Measuring xylem hydraulic resistance in plants is a common procedure that relies on well-established methods.  Results from comparative measures of xylem hydraulic conductivity using traditional and a new protocol on eight woody species will be discussed. The new method was developed to reduce errors associated with samples that are: shorter than their xylem conduit lengths; and from fluid moving through artificially created flow paths when measurements are made on samples that are excised on both ends, such as fluid moving through xylem conduits located in older vascular growth rings that may not be conducting in the intact samples. The new method produced much lower values of hydraulic conductivity in 7 of the 8 species studied. However, there was a large species-dependent range observed between the two methods.  For example, the new method produced conductivity values that were two times lower for Acer rubrum samples compared to traditional hydraulic methods. And in some species, the differences between the two methods were only about 10%.  For Robinia pseudoacacia conductivity values were found to be the same for both methods. Reasons for these variations will be discussed. 

Meeting website:

Posted by Nancy Pierce at 4:25PM   |  Add a comment
Slug Glue

Newest Research Findings Hit the Media:

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Will Brogan ('07)

Bruce Smith was granted funding for Alumni-in-the-Classroom via the H&S Educational Grant Initiative.  William Brogan (Biology ’07) will be presenting during the department’s seminar series. Fall 2013.

Posted by Nancy Pierce at 8:37AM   |  Add a comment

Do Plants Defy Physical Laws?  How plants move water against the forces of gravity and hydraulic resistance without using a heart-like pump. Peter Melcher.  Physics Department Seminar Series, Ithaca College.  September 2013.

In this seminar, I will explain the physics of sap ascent in plants and discuss the various obstacles that plants must overcome to get water from the soil to their thirsty leaves.  Unlike many higher animal species that use a mechanical pump known as a heart to push fluids around their bodies, plants lack hearts because plant cells have cell walls which limit cellular flexibility and hearts are also very energetically expensive to maintain.  This resulted in many cool evolutionary adaptations used by plants to overcome the forces of gravity and hydraulic resistance that allows them to move water through their bodies. The physics of fluid flow and the adaptations used by plants to translocate fluids will be the focus of this seminar.

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