Gautam Sarath, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
USDA-ARS Research Molecular
Research Interests:  The Sarath lab works on the biochemical and molecular aspects biomass crops, using switch grass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a model system.  In collaboration with other scientists, we have developed genomic and proteomic resources to analyze existing germplasm.  The overall goals of this project are to obtain detailed insights into switch grass biology using a whole array of tools in botany, physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology.  Other work focuses on prairie legumes and their nitrogen fixation abilities. 

For more information on Dr. Sarath: Web Site

Harkamal Walia, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Understanding how plants adapt to environmental stresses, particularly the physiological and molecular characterization of crop responses to drought, heat and salt stress. Plant responses to stress depend on the developmental stage at which the stressful conditions arise. Research focuses on stress tolerance during developmental stages that are particularly sensitive to abiotic stresses resulting in yield and biomass losses. We are using genomics, biochemical, computational and physiological approaches to elucidate the mechanisms involved in abiotic stress tolerance in cereals such as wheat, maize, and rice among others. The overall research goal is to discover genes and genetic variants that can be used to improve crop performance in sub-optimal growing conditions.

For more information on Dr. Walia: Web Site