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Ohio University

1822-1996: Celebrating l74years ofBotany at Ohio University

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College ofArts and Sciences Department ofEnvironmental and Plant Biology Athens, Ohio 45701-2979

REPORT FROM THE CHAIR Oh what a difference a year can make! This year was dominated by the Board of Regents (BOR) review of our doctoral program. It began on a high note with very positive evaluations of our doctoral program by three distinguished external reviewers; a recently elected member of the National Academy of Sciences observed that “The doctoral program compares favorably in many ways with those of the best graduate departments of plant sciences,” and another reviewer opined, “It is a program with national and interna tional stature, and one that has produced significant research and highly successful graduates.” It ended, however, on a low note with the (BOR) decision that the doctoral subsidy for our program should be withdrawn, and our doctoral program should be integrated with Biological Sciences. The BOR research panel’s major concerns were the number of students in the program, the number of faculty with active research programs, and the level of external funding. The university administration judged that these criticisms could not be satisfactorily answered, and laid the groundwork for merging our doctoral program with Biological Sciences. We are now in the process of negotiating the details of the merger. This year there has been a “changing of the guard” in several areas. After 34 years of teaching and service to the department, HERB GRAFFIUS will be taking early retirement in the fall and return to teach one quarter a year for the next two years. His replacement is MORGAN VIS-CHIASSON (below), whose area of specialization is macroalgal community ecology. CAROLYN HOWES KEIFFER, who has provided eight years of outstanding service as the departmental Administrative Assistant, has completed her Ph.D. and has accepted a teaching position at the Middletown Campus ofMiami University with the opportunity to do research at Oxford. She will be replaced by MARY LOUISE “COOKIE” TRIVETT (Ph.D. 1991), who spent last year as a temporary replacement for Bob Lloyd, and will probably be called upon to do some “pinch-hit” teaching in the future. Finally, after eight years, I have decided to step down as Chair and return to the ranks: My replacement will be JAMES P. BRASELTON. Despite all of this personnel flux, I am pleased to announce that BRIAN C. MCCARTHY and ARTHUR T. TRESE were awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professors.

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Ivan K. Smith Professor and Chair


Botany Newsletter 1996

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DONATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT VIA THE OHIO UNIVERSITY FUND When Dean Flemming invites you to participate in the College of Arts and Sciences Annual Roll Cailfor Excellence, we encourage alumni and friends of our department to make a small gift, de4qnated to the Department ofEnvironmental and Plant Biology. Your gifts are important in supporting specific departmental activities such as expenses incurred at the District Science Fair; e.g., plaques to students with the top junior and senior projects and plaques to the students’ schools are totally paid for by donor contributions. Your donations also support plant acquisition and labeling at the Botany Garden and Greenhouse as well some student travel. Our increasing dependence on donations makes us increasingly aware and appreciative of alumni and friends who support these activities. Donations may be made either to the department in general or for a specific purpose. The following are accounts set up for a specific purpose:

Arthur H. Buckle Botany Scholarship for women Charles E. Miller Scholarship for undergraduates Lee and Irene Roach Graduate Fund for cellular and molecular biology graduate student research Monroe T. Vermillion Scholarship for undergraduates Plant Biology Faculty Memorial Scholarship for graduate students We wish to recognize the following alumni and friends who contributed to the department during 1995. We will respect the wishes of anyone who refers to remain anony mous, and we hope that you will bring any omissions to our attention. Baugh, Charles W. Jr. & Calabro, Nicholas C. Chenevey, Robert A. Helen J. DeMarco, Robert D. Benjamin, Peter M. Denti, John E. Beyer, Arthur F. (in Donaldson, Janet honor ofArthur H. Drake, Kenneth A. Blickle) Frasch, Robert G. & Brennan, Thomas H. & Bonnie B. Christina K.

DIRECTORY: FACULTY AND STAFF Name H. W. Blazier J. P. Braselton* P. D. Cantino J. C. Cavender N. S. Cohn J. E. Dowler J. H. Graffius B. S. Ingraham L. A. Larson G. K. Mapes B. C. McCarthy J. P. Mitchell E. D. Moore G. W. Rothwell

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Lab/Office BotResFac 204 Porter 406 Porter 41 1 Porter 309 Porter 5 10 Porter 3 17 Porter 307c Porter 315a Porter 307e Ridges Bld 7 Porter 416 Porter 508 Porter 302a/303b Porter 401 Ridges Bid 7 Porter 405 Porter 504 Porter 512 Porter 500 Porter 315b Porter 419 Porter 400 Porter 3 17

Salick A. M. Showalter I. K. Smith A. T. Trese M. L. Trivett I. A. Ungar** M. Vis-Chiasson Dept. Office Dept.FAX *Chair **Chair, Graduate Program

Telephone 593-4547 593-1 1 3 1 593-1 128 593-4551 593-4659 593-1 126 593-1 133 593-1124

Internet Address

593-1 1 17 593-1615 593-4548 593-4552 593-1 129 593-1118 593-1 122 593-1135 593-4550 593-0260 593-1125 593-1 120 593-1 134 593-1 126 593-1130

mapesg@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu mccarthy@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu mitchellj @ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu mooree@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu rothwell@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu

blazier@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu brase1ton@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu cantino(Jouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu cavender@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu cohnn@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu dowlerj@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu graffiush@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu

salick@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu showa1ter@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu smithi@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu trese@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu trivett@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu ungar@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu vis-chia@oak.cats.ohiou.edu pbiodept@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu

Through the efforts ofDr. Brian McCarthy and graduate student Scott Robison, the department has gone on line with a World Wide Web Home Page (http://www.plantbio.ohiou.edu). The page is continually being updated with course and research activities, in addition to providing a description of departmental facilities and faculty.


Botany Newsletter 1996 Gray, Dr. Robert H. & Judith L. Grotta, Barbara J. Hermann, Gary B. Keiffer, Carolyn S. Howes Laco, Joseph G. Lanfranchi, Joseph Larson, Laurence A. & Elizabeth Lindeman, William R. Lyons, Charles & Arlene Maenpa, Francis C. Mickle, James E. Mikeseil, Patrick B. Petros, Christine M. Pilch, Mr. & Mrs. Louis Preisner, Thaddeus R.

Quatrano, Ralph S. Rice, John Ross, Michael D. Schmidt, Robert S. & Lauren A. Smith, Ivan K. & Lynn Stout, Norman B. Szabo, Bertalan L. Telewski, Frank W. Triska, Stephanie Ellen Ungar, Irwin & Ana West, Floyd R. & Marlene V. Young, Julia Anna Zeon Chemicals, Inc. (MG of Robert D. DeMarco)

Ohio University Fund Donations $ $ $ $ $

1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 (+p)

=

195 (+p) 440 885 1,015 1,695 $2,100 $ 3,736 $ 3,924 $ 5,330 $2,824

plus payroll that’s not specified

AWARDS AND HONORS This year’s awards ceremony was held on May 31 at 4 p.m. in the 1804 Lounge of Baker Center, which accommodated the 70 people in attendance. Following a short period for refreshments and general visiting among graduate and undergraduate students, parents and faculty, the formal ceremonies began. Joining the members of the department to honor the smdent recipients of the awards was INTERIM DEAN HAROLD MOLINEU of the College of Arts and Sciences The awards were presented by JOHN P. MITCHELL and IVAN K. SMITH. Annually the college recognizes a small number of alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally. Interim Dean Harold Molineu presented a College of Arts and Sciences Significant Achievement Award to Alumnus Gerald B. Straley (MS 1974), and read the following citation: “The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to recognize Dr. Gerald B. Straley with the Significant

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Dr. Gerald B. Straley and Dean Harold Molineu Achievement Award. Dr. Straley earned a bachelor of science degree in 1968 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University with a major in ornamental horticulture. He received a master’s degree in botany, working with Dr. Robert Lloyd, from Ohio University in 1974. In 1980, he completed his Ph.D. work in botany at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “Between 1979 and 1982, Dr. Straley was education coordinator at the Van Dusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver. In 1982, he moved to his present position as research scientist and curator of collections at the Botanical Garden of the University of British Columbia. In 1983, he was appointed adjunct professor of horticulture in the Department of Plant Science and in 1989 he accepted the added responsibilities of director of the herbarium and curator of vascular plants in the Department of Botany. “Dr. Straley has published close to 100 scientific and popular papers on a variety of botanical and garden-related topics. He has written nine books dealing with the plants of British Columbia. His long-term participation on the Editorial Committee ofthe Flora ofNorth America identifies Dr. Straley as a significant contributor to a national and international understanding of the plants of this continent. “On behalf of the Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, the College ofArts and Sciences, and Ohio University, it is a pleasure to recognize Gerald B. Straley for his many splendid accomplishments and for his contributions to our knowledge of plants by granting him our Significant Achievement Award.”

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Graduate Awards LORI L. SPARGROVE, M.S. student in Dr. Trese’s Lab, was the recipient of the department’s Outstanding Teacher Award. SCOTT A. ROBISON was awarded a Phi Delta Theta scholarship, given annually to male graduate students concentrating on “applied research (except genetics).”


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Undergraduate Awards The Distinguished Professor Scholarship recipients are selected by the individual Distinguished Professors of Ohio University. The student selected by NORMAN S. COHN for next year’s scholarship is ERICA K. CARLSON, a freshman with a grade point average of 3.46. Erica’s interests are eclectic: She is an accomplished musician who can play the saxophone, piano, tuba, recorder and trumpet well and the clarinet and violin not so well. She is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, the Athens Medieval Society. The C. Paul and Beth Stocker Scholarships are awarded each year to first- and second-year undergraduates. For next academic year, the scholarships are awarded to MEGAN BEILSTEIN (Honors Tutorial College), CRAIG H. CONNOR (College ofArts and Sciences), STEPHEN R. RATZEL (College ofArts and Sciences) and JASON J. ZAROS (College ofArts and Sciences). Megan has completed her second year in Environmental and Plant Biology with a grade-point average of 3.70. She is a repeat awardee and continues to be interested in plant tissue culture and plant propagation, which is a natural outgrowth of her family’s farming and greenhouse activities. Craig is a graduate of Westerville South High School and currently has a grade-point average of 3.68. He was attracted to OU by the attractive campus and the variety of Environmental Studies programs from which to choose. Stephen is from Westlake, Ohio, and has a gradepoint average of 3.60. His hobbies include rock climbing, photography and camping. Not surprisingly, he spends a lot of time outdoors botanizing, and the best botany book he has read is The Eyewitness Handbook ofTrees by Allen J. Coombes. Jason is from McConnelsville, Ohio, and has a grade point average of 3.96. He rates the domestication of corn, beans, and tomatoes as the most significant event in plant biology. He is a big fan of Fig Tree John, and the best book he has read is Private Lives ofPlants by David Artenborough.

The LelaA. Ewers Science Scholarship is for a full-time undergraduate student on the Athens campus majoring in any field of the natural sciences. Selections are made by the scholarship committee of the College of Arts & Sciences. The $520 award was presented to LEA E. LOIZOS, a sophomore with a grade point average of 3.39. She spent Spring of 1995 studying abroad in France as befits a French major, and then backpacked through Europe. An incredible experience! After graduation she is hoping to join the Peace Corps in Africa before attending graduate school in Environmental Studies. The ThomasM. Wolfe Scholarship award was established by his wife, Edna, to honor Mr. Wolfe, a 1919 graduate of Ohio University. The Wolfe fund provides for a total of six scholarships each year, three to juniors and three to seniors. Two of them are given to students in plant biology with strong academic records and who show promise in the areas of conservation and ecology. This year these awards were presented to MICHELLE R. SCHAFER, a junior and GRETCHEN M. WALTERS, a senior. Michelle is a graduate of Sycamore High School (how appropriate) in Cincinnati and has a grade point average of 3.41. She was “turned on” to botany by her high school field biology teacher who encouraged students to collect wildflowers and make herbarium specimens and do an ecological study. She is also a big fan of David Attenborough’s documen taries. Gretchen is from Glen Dale, WV, and has a grade point of 3.33. She is very much into the outdoors, including rock climbing, backpacking, biking and gardening. The best botany book she has read is Meeting the Expectations ofthe Land, and she is of the opinion that the most significant event in plant biology was the establishment of gardens as an amalgamation of research, germplasm and biodiversity preservation, and aesthetic pleasure, not to mention as a source of food. The Charles E. Miller Scholarship provides scholarship support for majors in this department. The late Charles E. Miller was a professor and chairman of the Department of Botany (now the Department of Environmental & Plant

Left to rqht: ElyssaArnone, Nicole Cavender, Gretchen Walters, Jason Zaros, Megan Beilstein, Michelle Schafer, Craq Connor, Stephen Ratzel, Scott Robison, Jessica Page, Lea Loizos, Erica Carlson.


Botany Newsletter 1996 Biology) until the early 1980’s. This year’s award went to JESSICA K. PAGE who is a graduate of Upper Arlington High School in Columbus and currently has a grade-point average of 3.49. Her love of botany came from her family, especially her grandmother, an avid hiker and amateur naturalist. Currently she is particularly interested in Systematics and Evolution, and next year, will be working as a PACE student for Dr. Cantino in the Bartley Herbarium as a curatorial assistant.

Outstanding Graduating Seniors Every year each college of the university recognizes the outstanding graduating senior in each department. The outstanding graduate in Environmental and Plant Biology was NICOLE D. CAVENDER, who is the daughter of our very own James and Andrée Cavender, and had a final grade-point average of 3.58. Despite going to college within walking distance of home, Nicole has broadened her horizons as an exchange smdent in France during the O.U. Study Abroad Program, and was a student in Jim Cavender’s Integrative Tropical Botany class in Central America. She indicates that the best botany book she has read is The SecretLfë ofPlants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, and the most interesting botanical personality is Richard Schultes from Harvard who smdies medicinal properties of plants and their use in spiritual events by indigenous peoples. In the fall, Nicole will be entering the doctoral program in horticulture at Ohio State University with a particular interest in ecological landscaping. The department recognizes the outstanding graduat ing seniors in special curricula, who were NICOLE D. CAVENDER in Plant Biology and GRETCHEN M. WALTERS in Environmental Biology. ELYSSA ARNONE, NICOLE CAVENDER and GRETChEN WALTERS received Young Botanists Awards from the Botanical Society of America, which recognizes the most outstanding graduating seniors who show promise in the field of botany. Elyssa who is from Jamestown NY is a shaker and mover; in high school she was president of the National Honor Society and co-founder of the Environmental Awareness Club; while at O.U., she was co-founder and is president of AppalAction, the Ohio University Appalachian Service Corps, and is the student representative on the board of directors of the Ohio Campus Compact, a group of Ohio University and college presidents and faculty working to make community service a priority on campus. After graduation, Elyssa will be working for the city of Jamestown on their horticultural programs and doing tree surveys.

GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS GAR ROTIIWELL and GENE MAPES were awarded $95,000 by the National Science Foundation

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to conduct a study on the “Phylogeny of coniferophytic seed plants”. JAMES CAVENDER and master’s student DWIGHT MITCHELL received $21,100 from the 1804 Fund to support research on “The delivery of biocontrols and growth promoters to plants by means of engineered compost”. IRWIN UNGAR and ALLAN SHOWALTER were recipients of a $20,000 Ohio University post doctoral fellowship to support AJMAL KIIAN (Ph.D. 1985) who is a visiting faculty member in the department working on “Genetic engineering of crop plants for salt tolerance: cloning and sequencing the betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BAD) gene from the halophyteAtriilex triangularis.” Allan also had a major role in a $60,064 award from the 1804 Fund to purchase a fluorimager for the sensitive and non-radioisotopic detection of biological samples. PHILIP CANTINO received a $4,000 Ohio Univer sity Research Committee grant to support his sabbatical research on “Taxonomic treatments of the Lamiaceae (mint family) for regional, continental, and world floras”. BRIAN McCARThY obtained supplemental funds ($5330) from the US Forest Service to support SCOTT ROBISON’S research on “Estimating canopy openness and seasonal solar radiation,” and a Baker Committee award ($5,850) to support his research on “Long-term demography of hickory (Carya spp; Juglandaceae): A study of gap regeneration in a southeastern Ohio Oak-Hickory forest”, which included the acquisition of GPS equipment and the establishment of permanent plots to evaluate longterm stand dynamics.

FACULTY NEWS Cell and Molecular Biology DR. JAMES P. BRASELTON has summarized nearly 25 years ofwork on the plasmodiophorids at Ohio University by himself, the late Charles E. Miller, and several graduate students on a World Wide Web page entitled Plasmodiophorid HomePage (http:// www.plantbio.ohiou.edu/pbc/plasmos/home.htm). The Plasmodiophorid Home Page is part of the Environmental & Plant Biology Research & Biodiversity Resource Collections on the departmental WWW Home Page, and he has helped create a corresponding group of researchers interested in the plamodiophorids in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Although Dr. Braselton will continue with his interest in the plasmodiophorids through the WWW site and the corresponding group, he will be shifting his research emphasis to a study of interspecific hybrid formation between cultivated and wild potatoes. This program, which was initiated during Dr. Braselton’s sabbatical in 1993/94, is in collaboration with DR. MICHAEL WILKINSON


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Botany Newsletter 1996

at the University of Reading (UK). As part of this study, several heirloom cultivars of potatoes are being sought for the crosses. In particular, a cultivar known as either “Merrimac” or “Merrimack” has not been located, and if anyone is aware of a source for the cultivar, please contact Dr. Braselton. The study has been progressing slowly, mainly because of the difficulty in finding the heirloom cultivars. Most progress in the study has been with techniques for confocal microscopy for observing fertilization in intact ovules. One image of double fertilization from the study may be viewed in the WWW page, Confocal Microscopy (http://www.plantbio.ohiou.edu/pbc/ confocal/confocal.htm), another entry on the departmental www Home Page. The protocol for preparing intact plant structures for confocal microscopy is listed under faculty publications. DR. NORMAN S. COHN continues to remain active during early retirement. LONG ZHANG in his lab completed his Ph.D. studies, defending his dissertation “Isolation and characterization of a wound-inducible cell wall invertase gene in pea” in March, 996. Long began his postdoctoral work at Wayne State University in April in the laboratory of Dr. Larry Matherly at the Michigan Cancer Foundation. He is studying membrane receptor genes related to the treatment of pediatric cancer. Long can be reached at: Michigan Cancer Center, 1 10 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, 48201. DAN MORAN is pursuing his doctoral research in the laboratory ofDr. Norman S. Cohn, examining a pea ribosomal protein gene (L9) whose expression is enhanced by the application of gibberellin. Dan has completely sequenced the gene, has determined its major sites of expression in the plant, and is beginning to pursue its regulation. The latter studies will be done principally at CSIRO in Canberra, Australia beginning in the fall of 1996. Dan was fortunate to receive a Fuibright award for the year in the laboratory of Dr. T.J. Higgins, and plans to seek the advice of Drs. J.E. Schroeder and J. Jacobsen. The three investigators are experts in the area of plant transformation, and will be of great help to Dan in his promoter analysis work. If all goes well, on his return in 1997, Dan will finish his dissertation and Dr. Cohn will complete the supervision of his last doctoral student! DR. JOHN P. MITChELL presented a poster describing the work of former student JIRA KATEMBE to the Botanical Society meeting in San Diego last year. Jira is continuing his NASA-funded post-doc at Miami Univer sity, Ohio, although he spends some time at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida preparing to sendArabidopsis seeds to germinate in an orbiting shuttle. Current student DONGGHJN KIM presented some of the results of his research on invertases to the Plant Physiology meetings in Charlotte, N.C. Since Mitchell was in Seattle as a tourist last year, he plans to attend the Royal Microscopical Society meeting in London this summer for a change. DR. ALLAN M. SHOWALTER is using molecular and biochemical approaches to investigate the structure,

expression, and function of plant cell wall proteins (e.g., arabinogalactan proteins, peroxidases, proteins involved with stress-induced oxidative burst, and changes in wall composition in response to salt treatment) His lab consists of 6 doctoral graduate students (Shu-xia Li, Ayyappan Nair, Luke Yuan, Lily Wang, Minggeng Gao, and Zaiqun Pan). SHU-XIA LI successfully defended her dissertation research and will graduate in June 1996. Shu-xia and Allan have co-authored two papers which are currently in press from her graduate research, and they are trying to finish experiments for a third paper. Shu-xia has accepted a post-doctoral position at Yale University. AYYAPPAN NAIR has isolated and purified a wound-induced cell wall peroxidase to homogeneity and is currently trying to define the function(s) ofthis peroxidase which has a pT in excess of 9. He also has some very exciting, new data which serves to elucidate the biochemical pathway involved with both the mechanically and osmotically induced oxidative burst that occurs in plants. LUKE YUAN continues to search for the potato lectin gene, which encodes a novel plant hydroxyproline rich glycoprotein associated with disease resistance. MINGGENG GAO, ZAIQUN PAN, and KARL SCHEIDWEILER are working on the isolation and characterization of other tomato arabinogalactan protein genes to supplement the information obtained from Shu xia’s research. LILY WANG continues to work on a new project in the lab in collaboration with Dr. Irwin Ungar that involves salt-induced physiological and molecular changes in the halophyte Atriplex friangularis. She successfully defended her M.S.E.S. thesis under the joint direction oflrwin and Allan. AJMAL KHAN, a post-doctoral fellow and visiting scientist from Pakistan, is working with Lily, Irwin, and Allan on the above mentioned project. He is in the process of quantifying the osmoprotectant levels of glycine betaine and other quarternary ammonium compounds in a number of halophytes in response to various salt treatments. This is being done as a prelude to cloning and sequencing the betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BAD) gene, which encodes one of the two key enzymes involved in glycine betaine production, from a halophyte. DR. IVAN SMITH has almost cleaned house. BEN HOLT successfully defended his M.S. thesis on the effects of three cultivation methods—double digging, single digging, and surface cultivation—on the yield and ionic composition ofgreen beans and beets. The bottom line of which was that double-digging does not increase yield under conditions of adequate water and nutrients. So save your back! ! SANFORD KOHORST, who was extending the work ofTOM VIERHELLER (Ph.D. 1990) on glutathione levels in plants exposed to stress, has completed his research, presented his research seminar and is in the process of writing a thesis. Dr. Smith will be returning to research, specifically, working on the transport of sodium and chloride in salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive plants. .


Botany Newsletter 1996 DR. ART TRESE is in his sixth year at Ohio U., and this year was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. A sigh of satisfaction from him and a significant relief for his family. This year also marks the (anticipated) graduation of LORI SPARGROVE and DENNIS BISHOP, two of the graduate students in his lab. Lori is looking for a job, perhaps as a lab technician, and Dennis hopes to begin a career as a teacher this fall. They are both busy finishing their respective theses; “The effects of wounding on the development of, and induced gene expression in, Phaseolus vulgaris root nodules,” for Lori and “Assessment of field application potential of biosolid waste cake produced from Dupont’s Washington Works” for Dennis. ANDRIA KUIILMAN was working as a PACE employee in Art’s lab, and she kept things interesting. Andria became the expert in bean raising, nodule harvesting, and RNA isolation; her help will be missed! MEGAN GROSS, who was a PACE smdent in the lab last year, will be enrolling at Purdue University this fall, as a graduate smdent in Plant Pathology. Good choice ofcareers, Megan! DOUG McCREA also worked in the lab this spring quarter doing some research on protease activity in developing bean nodules. When he left for the summer, Doug left Art a mycology project to work on until he remrns; growing up some mushroom spawn from a mushroom he had managed to isolate into pure culture.

Sy#ematics and Morphology DR. PLIP CANTINO is looking forward to a Faculty Fellowship leave during the 1996-97 academic year. During his leave, he will be appointed an Associate of Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum and will be working on three related projects concerning the systematics of the Lamiaceae; a regional taxonomic treatment of the family for the Generic Flora ofthe Southeastern United States, a global treatment of three subfamilies of Lamiaceae for Families and Genera of Vascular Plants (a world flora project administered in Germany), and species-level treatments of three genera for the Flora ofNorth America. These multiauthored flora series are extensively used by taxonomists and also benefit ecologists, plant breeders, foresters, conservationists, and others who require accurate information on plant classifi cation and morphology. Dr. Cantino’s contributions are supported by grants from the Ohio University Research Committee, Harvard’s Mercer Fund, and a National Science Foundation grant to the Generic Flora Project. A paper presented by Dr. Cantino last summer at the annual AIBS meeting provided the framework for a manuscript submitted to Systematic Biology this spring, coauthored with RIChARD OLMSTEAD (University ofWashington) and STEVEN WAGSTAFF (Ph.D., 1992) The paper uses the Lamiaceae as a case study to compare our traditional system of biological nomenclature with a recently proposed alternative system in which taxon .

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names are defmed as clades (single branches on the phylogenetic tree oflife) rather than as Linnaean categories (families, classes, etc.). This case study suggests that the alternative phylogenetic system would provide a more stable and unambiguous nomenclature than our traditional system. The manuscript is currently being reviewed. BEN TORKE is nearing completion of a systematic study of Salvia section Ekmania (Lamiaceae), a group endemic to Hispaniola. His research took him to the Dominican Republic over winter break, where he spent several weeks collecting specimens and studying variation in natural populations. Ben is looking forward to attending the eight-week tropical systematics course this summer at the OTS field station in Costa Rica. MEGIIAN BLAKE, undergraduate curatorial assistant in the Bartley Herbarium, has been studying morphological variation and breeding barriers in Triosteum (Caprifoliaceae), with the hope of improving species delimitation in this taxonomically difficult genus. The white, cloth-draped insect exclosures used in her crossing experiments, looking a bit like little ghosts behind the greenhouse, have no doubt piqued the curiosity of passers-by. A student with wide interests, Meghan presented a talk this spring at the Ohio Academy of Sciences meeting based on plant physiology research she conducted with graduate student and coauthor BEN HOLT, and she plans to present her systematic research at OAS next spring. DR. JAMES CAVENDER presented a paper with former student EDUARDO VADELL (M.S., 1993) at the Second International Congress on the Systematics and Ecology ofMyxomycetes entitled “Dictyostelid cellular slime molds from forest soils of Iguazu Falls and the Jesuit mission ruins of Argentina”. Dr. Cavender and graduate student DWIGHT MITCHELL received an 1804 Fund grant to study the disease suppressive properties of laboratory produced compost. Environmental and Plant Biology students GAREN TARR, JASON ENGLAND AND JIM SPURNEY accompanied Cavender to Belize and Guatemala for four weeks in December to study Integrative Tropical Plant Biology. JIM SPURNEY and GEORGE VAUGhAN will be beginning graduate studies in Cavender’s lab in the fall. Spurney is interested in assessing the nutrient budget in Mayan Indian slash and burn agriculture around BARC (Belize Agroforestry Research Center) in Southern Belize where Cavender’s class spends a week each year while George Vaughan will be researching the cultivation of medicinal mushrooms. The 1995-96 year was a particularly active period for plant paleontology at Ohio University. DRS. GAR ROTIIWELL and GENE MAPES were awarded a research grant from the National Science foundation to conduct systematic studies of fossil conifers, and are arranging museum studies in Russia, Argentina, India, Germany, France, and Canada. Together with DR. ROYAL MAPES (Geological Sciences), they completed major studies of ancestral conifer distribution in North America, and of new


Botany Newsletter 1996

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conifer-like plants from marine deposits ofTexas. In July, Rothwell attended an international conference at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England, where he presented the results of a major systematic study of ferns and fern-like plants. This work has been conducted in collaboration with DR. RUTH STOCKEY (M.S. 1974) ofthe University ofAlberta. This summer, Rothwell and Stockey will be collecting additional specimens in southern Canada for an ongoing smdy ofextinct aquatic plant communities. DR. MARY L. (Cookie) TRIVETT completed work in collaboration with DR. KATHLEEN PIGG of Arizona State University (B.S. 1980 and M.S. 1982), and with Rothwell has been invited to present an analysis of sporangial evolution at the Botanical Society of America Meetings at the University of Washington in August. RUDY SERBET is currently completing his Ph.D. on vegetation that supported the dinosaurs in southern Canada shortly before their extinction. Rudy’s research will be presented at the International Organization of Paleobotanists Conference in Santa Barbara, CA in July. Several undergraduate students worked in the paleobotany laboratory this past year. JENNIFER RICE, an environmental journalism major, presented her work on a fossil lycopod cone with seedlike megasporangia at national AIBS meetings and has had the manuscript (with GM, Royal Mapes, and Gar W. Rothwell) accepted for publication in the Americanjournal ofBottny. Environmental and Plant Biology major AMY FALDER has begun an undergraduate project with a Cretaceous pine cone from Russia, after working this year on several fossil seeds, as Gene’s lab assistant. AMY FALDER worked with Dr. Gene Mapes on seed cones of an extinct pine, ELYSSA ARNONE worked with Dr. Rothwell and Dr. Pigg on 16 million year old fossil ferns from Washington State, GRETCHEN WALTERS worked with Drs. Mapes and Rothwell on a study to determine the nature of fossil plant preservation in marine sediments, and KEVIN LEWIS worked with Rothwell and Serbet to describe a new species of fossil seeds from the coal-forming deposits of Ohio. In May, the whole lab attended the Midcontinent Paleobotanical Colloquium at Virginia Tech, and will be bringing this regional meeting to Ohio University in 1997. In June, the studies by Arnone and Walters will be presented at the North American Paleontological Conven tion at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology DR. BRIAN C. McCARTHY is continuing his work with the regeneration ecology of eastern hardwoods and has continued to expand his interest in invasive plants, particularly those of eastern deciduous forests. SCOTT ROBISON completed his thesis, entitled “An analysis of the responses of shagbark hickory (Caya ovata (Mill.) K. Koch; Juglandaceae) seedlings to experi mental light regimes” in March 1995 He has continued in the program and is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree .

on topics related to regeneration ecology and light microenvironments. Scott was particularly instrumental in assisting Dr. McCarthy with the establishment of the department’s World Wide Web page this past year. Please visit us at HTTP://WWW.PLANTBIO.OHIOU.EDU to keep abreast of current happenings! JENNIFER REED also completed her M.S. thesis this past year under Dr. McCarthy’s direction. Her work, entitled “Patterns of chemical variation in the foliage and fruit of two oak species (Quercusprinus and Q velutina) by genotype and slope aspect in a southeastern Ohio forest,” is scheduled to be published in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin ofthe Torrey Botanical Club. While finding some aspects of science rewarding, she ultimately decided not to pursue a career in plant ecology and will likely move in to the business arena. GARY GREER continues his work on fern ecology and evolution in abstentia. He has returned to his home in Colorado but continues to write and will hopefully complete his dissertation this summer or autumn. He currently has two manuscripts in review at Bulletin ofthe Torrey Botanical Club and Americanjournal ofBotany. The former dealing with the factors affecting the distribution and abundance of ferns in a southeastern Ohio forest and the latter assessing the antheridiogen neighborhood of fern gametophytes and its ecological and evolutionary implications. JENNIFER FORREST MEEKINS continues her doctoral studies of garlic mustard (Alliariapetiolata). Dr. McCarthy has previously examined the competitive and possible alleopathic affects of this species. The former is scheduled to be published in the spring of 1996 by Springer-Verlag in an edited volume entitled, “Assessment and Management ofPlant Invasions.” The latter work was done with undergraduate SHERYL HANSON and is expected to be published soon. Forrest is picking up where Brian and Sheryl left off she has a number of interesting experiments which examine competitive effects of the species, patterns of resource usage, habitat invasibility, and experimental demography. Two new M.S. students, JEFF SCHMELA and LONNIE DROUHARD, joined the lab at the beginning of this past year. Brian and Jeff received funding from the National Wild Turkey Federation to conduct a study of the effects of turkey scratchings and litter disturbance on the regeneration of hardwoods and herbs. Jeff has been busy all spring establishing field experiments and is anxiously awaiting results. Lonnie has been busy doing pilot studies in an effort to propagate Lonicerajaponica. He will begin his studies this summer examining various aspects of seed germination, seedling establishment, resource acquisition, and habitat invasion of this pernicious species. More recently, doctoral students ChRISTINA WILLIAMS and TIM CAMPBELL have joined the lab. Christina recently completed her M.S. at the Univer sity of California at Berkeley. She intends to examine the ecology of the empress tree, Paulownia tomentosa, a species


Botany Newsletter 1996 native to China. Christina will examine various aspects of how Paulownia invades namral forest habitats and also aspects of its cultivation and interspecific interactions. While considered a “weed” species by many, saw timber from this species currently has a value almost 5-fold greater than black walnut (!) yet little is known about the ecology and performance of this species in North America. Tim completed his M.S. at Wright State University. He will examine various aspects of the distribution, dynamics, decay and mrnover of coarse woody debris (CWD) in oak-hickory forests. While CWD has always been known to be an important component in the functioning of forest ecosystems, it has only begun to receive serious attention by researchers in the past decade. All in all, it has been a busy year in Dr. McCarthy’s lab. As much as he enjoys it, Brian is still trying to reconcile the time commitments of being a new father. DR. JAN SALICK has been elected President of the Society of Economic Botany, and will be inducted as Fumre President at the annual meeting this summer in London. Her full duties as President start in 1997 at the meetings in St. Louis. Dr. Salick’s lab continues to hum. DAN BECHER finished his masters this last year on archeo-ethnobotany studying “Maygrass or Reed Canary Grass? An Early Woodland Grain.” We’ve just received Dan’s wedding announcement as well. Work on Salix continues with ED PFEFFER having completed a battery of hybridization and vegetative propagation experiments to compare mixed mating systems among species. Ed managed to land both Sigma Xi and Houk grants this year, so he is doing well. Work on Appalachian Ethnobotany progresses with two students. BOB CICHEWICZ, in his first year, has yet to focus his Ph.D. dissertation, but is pursuing research on both paw-paw and ethnobotanical cardiovascular inhibitors and stimulators; since paw-paw does show cardiovascular activity these interests are not as dispersed as they may seem. Dr. Salick was awarded a grant to work on Appalachian wetland ethnobotany with CORY SICA, a botany Honors Tutorial student. Agroecology is being pursued by two of Dr. Salick’s students. CYNTHIA RICARDI is in Indonesia on the island of Sulawesi to study indigenous swidden agriculture of the Wana, a remote tribe in a remote national park on a remote island. Not only did she receive significant funding from Southeast Asian Studies for her project, but she also received a visa albeit a long time in coming. Additionally, coming from Kenya, ONESIMUS OTIENO is researching the insect repellance of mints as a potential botanical control for insect vegetable pests. We are fortunate indeed to have students going to and coming from overseas. DR. IRWIN UNGAR and his students are continuing their research on the effects of salinity on the seed germina tion and growth of halophytes. Both field and laboratory experiments are being conducted to gain a better understanding of the mechanism of salt tolerance in plants. Two of the graduate students, LILY WANG and TODD

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EGAN, are looking into some aspects of the molecular basis of salt tolerance. It is hoped that this approach using techniques of physiological ecology and molecular biology in collaboration with ALLAN SHOWALTER will yield some fundamental results that will help us better understand the basis for salt tolerance in halophytes. Dr. Ungar is currently graduate chair of the department and is pleased to report that there is still a considerable amount of student interest in our program. A number of students in Dr. Ungar’s laboratory have graduated this year. He thinks that the graduate students finally want to get away from him and the salt mines. During this year JACKIE ADAMS and CAROLYN KEIFFER completed their Ph.D. degrees. LILY WANG, MARGARET FODERARO, and MYRON ROLSTON completed their M.S. degrees. Margaret is now working as a research assistant in the Department of Botany at the University of Georgia. Carolyn Keiffer obtained a position at the Middletown branch of Miami University and will be teaching there in 1996. Jackie continues her work as an environmental scientist at the Piketon facility. Currently, Todd Egan is doing his doctorate research in the laboratory and is investigating some aspects of the ecology and physiology ofAtnlexprostrata. Lily Wang is pursuing the molecular basis of salt tolerance with Allan Showalter for her doctorate degree, and they are collaborating on a project regarding the effect of salt tolerance on glycine betaine activity. A number of undergraduates have been very helpful with Ungar’s research over the past two years, and he would like to acknowledge the dedicated efforts of MEGAN HANLEY, NOEL STUDER, and LYNN DUNCAN for their assistance in the laboratory and maintaining a good sense of humor while working in the lab. It has been a great pleasure having PROFESSOR M. AJMAL KHAN (Ph.D. 1985), University of Karachi, return to the lab as a Fulbright Fellow. He has maintained a strong effort in the study of halophyte biology since he graduated and brought with him from Karachi seeds of a number of salt desert species. Ajmal has been working on the salt tolerance and germination requirements of these species this year. After his initial Fuibright Fellowship ended in the fall, Ajmal obtained an Ohio University postdoctoral research award in a joint project with Allan Showalter to investigate the growth of halophytes, the production of glycine betaine and the response of the BAD enzyme in salt stressed plants. Irwin is pleased to report that Ajmal is still as enthusiastic as ever about his research and has maintained a strong interest in computers.


Botany Newsletter 1996

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SCIENTIFIC IMAGING FACILITY By the late 1980s, it was obvious that we were on the threshold of the first major change in imaging technology since the invention of photochemical photography before the Civil War. In order for Ohio University to shift to digital technology for image capture and processing, potential users were identified in three colleges, nine departments, and one regional campus. Funding proposals were co-authored by DR. GAR ROTHWELL (PBIO, proposal coordinator), DR. JAN SALICK (PBIO), DR. DAN GULINO (CHEM ENG), and DR. MARTY KORDESCH (PHYS). Funds for the facility were obtained from the National Science Foundation ($100, 000), Ohio Board ofRegents Action Fund ($55, 000), Ohio University 1804 Fund ($65, 000), College of Arts and Sciences ($40, 000), Vice President for Admin istration ($40, 000 for space renovation), Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (space in the Research and Technology Building), and the Department of Envi ronmental and Plant Biology. Additionally, DR. JAMES BRASELTON (PBIO) negotiated the donation of a transmission electron microscope from Mercy Medical Center, Springfield, Ohio. The Scientific Imaging Facility (SIF) is a state-of-theart, university resource providing a wide array of imaging services to all areas of scientific inquiry at Ohio University. Features of the SIF are digital scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), digital light photo-microscopy, and low magnification or macro image capture. Image transmission vict the Ohio University WAN and the PlantBiol LAN is provided for electronic linking and image transfer across campus, and across the world. Technical assistance for the preparation of specimens, and to perform specialized procedures is available. Image capture and processing equipment include: .

Zeiss DSM 962 scanning electron microscope, a fully digital instrument with optimum performance capabilities for all applications requiring scanning electron microscopy

.

Philips 20 1 transmission electron microscope, an instrument that has been proven the world over for ease of operation, flexibility, and optimum performance for most applications requiring transmission electron microscopy

.

Zeiss Ultraphot ifiB photomicroscopy compound optical microscope

.

Zeiss Tessovar low magnification microscopy unit

.

Nikon DCS 100 digital camera

.

Leaf Systems, MicroLumina scanning camera

.

Skinko dye sublimation, photo quality printer

.

Hewlett Packard flat bed scanner

.

Pinnacle Micro Recordable compact disk reader and writer.

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Dr. Rothwell relaxes in the Scientflc Imaging Facility.

Other individuals on campus or in the Athens community who provided valuable assistance in setting up the SIF are Mike Snavely from Computer Network Service; Terry Eiler, Professor ofVisual Communication; Dr. Brian McCarthy, Environmental and Plant Biology; and Charles Van Der Walt, IntoX Corporation, Athens.

NEW FACULTY MEMBER The department is pleased to announce the addition ofMORGAN LE FAY VIS-CHIASSON to the faculty. Morgan is an aquatic botanist with a primary interest in the red algae; her senior project (B.A. Biology, 1989) at Kalamazoo College was a nutritional study, and her subsequent graduate research (M.S. Botany, University of Rhode Island, 1991; Ph.D. Biology, Memorial University ofNew Foundland, 1995) focussed on the ecology, systematics, and biogeography of freshwater red algae: She concluded that many previously described species are variants along an ecocline. During her postdoctoral research she acquired molecular biology techniques, which are becoming increasingly important in systematic and population biology research. At Memorial University of New Foundland she used mitochondrial DNA sequences to investigate the population biology of Greenland halibut, and at the University of Guelph used rDNA sequences to extend her doctoral work on the systematics of Batrachospermum. She is currently working on the macroalgal communities of the Great Lakes, which have been the subject of less smdy than the benthic and planktonic diatoms, and she is particularly interested in the marine red algal invader, Bangia atropurpurea. We believe that Morgan will be very successful in attracting to her lab both undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in either ecology field-based research or molecular biology approaches to systematic biodiversity projects.


Botany Newsletter 1996

CAROLYN KEIFFER RETIRES CAROLYN HOWES KEIFFER retired at the end of the spring quarter after eight years of outstanding service to the department as administrative assistant to the chair. Her major responsibilities were in the area of budgeting, where the successful operation of the department was in no small measure a consequence of her financial creativity and the ability to obtain additional monies from the college and research offices to purchase and maintain departmental equipment. On June 30th the department organized a retirement luncheon for Carolyn in the Botany Garden, at which time she was presented with a gift certificate from the faculty and staff, and several individual gifts. The generosity of the giving was the most tangible evidence of individuals’ appreciation of Carolyn’s contributions during her tenure in the department, the high point of which had to be her efforts during the renovation ofPorter Hall. She worked tirelessly during the moves, and with Mary Patacca in purchasing was responsible for the ordering, troubleshooting, and delivery of equipment and computers valued in excess of $500,000. All of this had to be done in addition to her normal duties and doctoral research. Carolyn was the archetypal “team player” willing to do whatever needed to be done without regard to her job description or the time commitment. In the spring, she completed her doctoral research under Dr. Ungar’s direction. She has accepted a teaching position at the Miami regional campus at Middletown, Ohio, and has the opportunity to conduct research on the main campus in Oxford. We wish her well in her future endeavors, and although she is out of sight, she will not be out of mind: Carolyn will be missed in more ways than one.

L Carolyn I(effrr

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RECENT FACULTY AND STUDENT PUBLICATIONS Braselton, J. P. 1996. Current status of the plasmodio phorids. CriticaiReviews in Microbiology 21: 263-275. Braselton, J. P., M. J. Wilkinson, and S. J. Clulow. 1996. Feulgen staining of intact plant tissues for confocal microscopy. Biotechnic and Histochemistry 71 : 84-87. Cavender, J. C., J. Cavender-Bares, and H. R. HohI. 1995. Ecological distribution of cellular slime molds in forest soils of Germany. Botanica Helvetica 105 : 199-219. Keiffer, C. H., B. C. McCarthy and I. A. Ungar. 1994. Effect of salinity and waterlogging on growth and survival ofSaiicornia europaea L., an inland halophyte. Ohiojournal ofScience 94: 70-73. Keiffer, C. H., and I. A. Ungar. 1995. The effect of prolonged hypersaline conditions on the germination of halophyte seeds. In Biology ofSait Tolerant Plants. Eds. M. A. Khan and I. A. Ungar. University of Karachi, Karachi. pp. 43-50. Khan, M. A., and I. A. Ungar (eds.). 1995. Biology ofsalt tolerantplants. University of Karachi, Karachi. 4l9pp. Khan, M. A., and I. A. Ungar. 1996. Comparative study of chloride, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium content of seeds in temperate and tropical halophytes. JournalofPlantNutrition 19: 517-525. McCarthy, B. C. 1995. Eastern old-growth forests. The Ohio WoodlandJournal 2(1) : 8-10 Purdom, D., and A. T. Trese. 1995. Morphological and molecular characteristics of host-conditioned ineffective root nodules in cowpea. Plant Physiology 109: 239-244. Rothwell, G. W. 1995. The fossil history of branching: Implications for the phylogeny ofland plants. In Experimental and MolecularApproaches to Plant Biosystematics. Eds. P.C. Hock and A.G. Stephenson. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO. pp. 71-86. Salick, J., A. Mejia and T. Anderson. 1995. Non-timber forest products integrated with natural forest management. EcologicalApplications 5 : 922-954. Salick, J. 1995. Toward an integration of evolutionary ecology and economic botany: Personal perspectives on plant/people interactions. Annals ofthe Missouri Botanical Garden 82: 68-85. Serbet, K., and G. W. Rothwell. 1995. Functional morphology and homologies ofgymnospermous ovules: evidence from a new species of Stephanospermum (Medullosales). Canadianjournal ofBotany 73: 650-661. Showalter, A. M., M. Kieliszewski, A. Cheung, and M. Tierney. 1995/1996. Genes encoding cell wall proteins. PlantMolecularBiology Reporter 13: 19-22/ 14: 9-10. Ungar, I. A., and M. A. Khan. 1996. Comparative study of ion content of seeds in temperate and tropical halophytes. Journal ofPlant Nutrition 19: 517-525. Ungar, I. A. 1995. Seed bank ecology of Halophytes. In Biology ofSalt Tolerant Plants. Eds. M. A. Khan


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Botany Newsletter 1996

and I. A. Ungar. University of Karachi, Karachi. pp. 65-79. Wagstaff, S. J., R. G. Olmstead, and P. D. Cantino. 1995. Parsimony analysis of cpDNA restriction site variation in subfamily Nepetoideae (Labiatae). Amen can journal ofBotany 82: 886-892. Zhang, L., N. S. Cohn, and J. P. Mitchell. 1996. A cDNA clone encoding a cell wall invertase from pea (X85327).PlantPhysiology 110: 1048.

STUDENTS COMPLETING GRADUATE DEGREES M.S. : Margaret Foderaro, Ben Holt, Jennifer Reed, and Scott Robison M.S.E.S.: Myron Rolston and Lily Wang Ph.D.: Jackie Adams, Carolyn Keiffer, Shu-xia Li, and Long Zhang

VISITORS TO THE DEPARTMENT Cynthia Bennington, Princeton University Walter Carson, University of Pittsburgh Alice Cheung, Yale University Charles Deiwiche, Indiana University Robert Gensemer, Boston University Rhonda Janke, Kansas State University John Madsen, Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility Roberta Mason-Gamer, The Harvard University Herbaria Alison Power, Cornell University Judy Stone, Duke University Thomas Taylor, Kansas University Morgan Vis-Chiasson, University of Guelph

DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL Faculty

J ames P. Braselton, Professor

Philip D. Cantino, Professor James C. Cavender, Professor J. Herbert Graffius, Associate Professor Brian C. McCarthy, Assistant Professor John P. Mitchell, Professor Gar W. Rothwell, Professor Jan Salick, Associate Professor Allan M. Showalter, Associate Professor Ivan K. Smith, Professor and Chair Arthur T. Trese, Assistant Professor Mary L. Trivett, Assistant Professor (1 year) Irwin A. Ungar, Professor

Adjunct Faculty Gene K. Mapes, Adjunct Associate Professor

Faculty Emeriti Arthur H. Blickle, Associate Professor Emeritus Norman S. Cohn, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Laurence A. Larson, Professor Emeritus Warren H. Wistendahi, Professor Emeritus

Visiting Faculty Member M. Ajmal Khan

Staff Judith Dowler, Departmental Secretary Brenda S. Ingraham, Technical Typist Carolyn S. Howes Keiffer, Technical Assistant Elizabeth D. Moore, Technical Assistant Harold Blazier, Greenhouse Manager

Graduate Students Doctoral Students: Jackie Adams, Tim Campbell, Robert Cichewicz, Todd Egan, Minggeng Gao, Gary Greer, Carolyn Keiffer, Donggiun Kim, Shu-xia Li, Forrest Meekins, Dan Moran, Ayyappan Nair, Rudolph Serbet, Christina Williams, Zhixiong Yuan, Long Zhang Master’s Students: Dennis Bishop, Lonnie Drouhard, Ben Holt, Sanford Kohorst, Dwight Mitchell, Edward Pfeffer, Jennifer Reed, Cynthia Riccardi (MSES), Scott Robison, Jeffrey Schmela, Bill Shores, Lori Spargrove, Kim Swantek, Ben Torke, Lily Wang (MSES), Judy Vincent

Undergraduate PACE students Elyssa Arnone, Meghan Blake, Lynn Duncan, Amy Falder, Andria Kuhiman, Ryan Maenpa, Laura Potter

NEWS OF ALUMNI RON BIRO (M.S. 1978, Ph.D. 1980) e-mailed with 0 cCTAj the query “Remember me”, to which the answer is could ever forget!” As ofJune 1, 1995, Ron has been working as the new manager of laboratory automation at the world headquarters of Pioneer Hi-Bred International near Des Moines, Iowa. After 1 1 years of work with the Bionetics Corp. and NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, he was forced to move to other employment as a result of contract changes and government cuts At the Kennedy Space Center, he was responsible for NASA’s life science educational programs and he assisted with research and support of Space Shuttle life science flight experiments. At Pioneer, it is much more like his graduate and post-doctoral work. He is not technically working as a research scientist anymore, but his job lets him explore new technologies and dabble in a large number of plant science, computer, molecular biology, and engineering .


Botany Newsletter 1996 areas. He is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing projects to support automation in the Pioneer research and development laboratories. About 350 people occupy these laboratories and work varies from plant pathological diagnosis to plant and microbial genetic engineering. TOM BRENNAN (B.S. 1988, M.S.1991) writes that since leaving O.U., he has been working and living in northern Virginia. For the past 2.5 years, he has been employed as an environmental scientist at Versar, Inc. in Springfield, VA. Versar does environmental consulting for many government agencies and private companies. As a member of the exposure assessment division, he works primarily for the US EPA. Most of his time at Versar is spent assessing the exposures and associated risks from handling pesticides. These assessments cover occupational exposures (agriculture workers) as well as residential exposures (homeowners treating lawns). ROBERT GARN (B.S. 1940) recently wrote, “What a difference the years make—fifty eight to be exact since M.T. Vermillion introduced me to Botany, followed by Plant Physiology. I had matriculated at O.U. as a twenty one year old ‘tater eatin’ country boy in the Fall of ‘36, and, after wading through University College, including Zoology with one Dr. Krecker, I decided I fit best in the College ofAgriculture with Drs. Copeland and Wiggin, and that decision, in addition to the basic Agricultural courses, took me into the botanical sciences, all housed in the old Ag building on University Terrace. I so enjoyed M.T.’s calm demeanor and teaching skills that when our older daughter set out for O.U. twenty five years later, and needed a science in her freshman year, I strongly urged her to seek out Botany with Mr. Vermillion if he was still teaching. Fortunately he was, and during the first week he asked her if by any chance she was related to a Robert Garn he’d had in classes some twenty five years earlier— her answer ‘he’s my Dad’. After twenty five years, M.T. and I renewed our relationship and continued to correspond until his death. “When I read through your 1995 Botany Newsletter, two things were of great interest to me—the tremendous advances in scientific areas unheard of fifty eight years ago, and the number of young women involved. Having two daughters to whom I always said being female does not limit you in any field of endeavor, it is truly pleasing to see so many young women studying in the Dept. of Environmental and Plant Biology.” Robert made good use of his O.U. training. He spent six years in the Air Force and thirty years in the fertilizer business, returning to Ohio in 1977 to become a “gentleman” farmer for fifteen years before retiring to condo living. DAVID HALL (MS. 1982) sends greetings from Florida. He was recognized on October 13, 1995 by the Florida Association of Science Teachers as the Outstanding High School Science Teacher for 1995. He is astounded that he

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was selected from a potential pooi of several thousand teachers in the state. The award was a c.v. matching exercise with accompanying letters of support. David is now teaching mostly chemistry in addition to two sections of Advanced Placement Biology. It seems that as the department head, he gets to fill in for the areas that the boss cannot hire adequate employees. Heavy lies the crown, no? His family is doing well; Angela(11) is a proto teenager (ack!) and Rob is close behind (9) but is a very inquisitive spirit. Lori is working as a first grade teacher who specializes in ESL students (who do not speak English as their first language). David writes, “She has the real job, plus keeps the household running as he gets sent all over the state consulting on state curriculum frameworks and teacher certification exams.” CHRIS KLINE (M.S. 1994) has been teaching plant identification courses at Hocking College and is cofounder of Chapel Ridge Botanical Garden, near South Bloomingville in Hocking County. According to the brochure, the mission of Chapel Ridge Botanical Garden is “to promote an appreciation and knowledge of native Ohio plants,” and an article in theAthensMessenger (Sunday, May 26) indicated that “One of the Chapel Ridge Botanical Garden’s goals is to display, study and market native Ohio plants for landscaping uses. Green Earth Nursery, located on the garden’s grounds, sells plants like some of those growing in the garden.” Open to the public from April through October, the garden is expected to attract tourists drawn to the region by nearby Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave, but it is still in its infancy. Information about becoming a member or corporate sponsor can be obtained by writing to Chapel Ridge Botanical Garden, 23968 Chapel Ridge Road, South Bloomingville 43152, or calling 332-4809. JIM NELLESSEN (Ph.D. 1989) sent a contribution stating that as ofJuly 1994, he has been working in the New Mexico State Air Quality Bureau. He is not so much involved with plants anymore (at least not at this time), but is writing air pollution control regulations. He is primarily working on regulations controlling the 189 hazardous air pollutants listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. There are a lot of new regulations coming out as a result of those amendments. Jim and his wife (Paula, Ph.D. in microbiology) are enjoying it in New Mexico, but Santa Fe has got to be one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. They also have a 5-monthold girl, Katie. CHARLES R. “RANDY” SMITH (B.S. 1949) writes that after 3 years of teaching and coaching in London, Ohio, he left the education field for the wonderful world of retail selling. He operated “Randy Smith Inc.” office supply and furniture store in Lancaster for 42 years. His wife is Martha Jo (Wise) , his daughter Linda Bamber is an accounting professor at the University of Georgia, and his other daughter Elizabeth Pronai is an elementary teacher in London, Ohio.


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Botany Newsletter 1996

ANDREW R. SWANSON (M.S. 1991) has moved to Florida and is teaching biology at Manatee Community College in Venice. He writes that it has been both “fun and busy”, and he anticipates pursuing a Ph.D. soon, likely in fungal ecology. FRANK TELEWSKI (M.S. 1980) is now a postmaster! In cooperation with the W. J. Beal Botancial Garden, Michigan State University, the AABGA now has a listserver to support directors, curators, collection managers and other parties interested in issues of developing, documenting and maintaining plant collections. Any questions regarding the listserver should be directed to the postmaster for the list, Dr. Frank W. Telewski, Curator, w. j. Beal Botanical Garden, who can be contacted on-line at telewski@cpp.msu.edu. DAVID S. TITUS (A.B. 1933) recently wrote, “When I graduated in June of 1933, I accepted a job in Robinson Lumber Co. as a salesman, which I enjoyed very much. I retired many years later, and at my age of 89, I am fortunate to be able to take care of my wife Judy.”

with such essays for popular consumption and his signifi cant financial gain. TODD CHADWELL (B.S. 1991) passed through Athens at the end ofMay on his way from a year in the Ozarks studying and identifying lichens to some time in El Salvador by courtesy ofthe Peace Corps. Good luck to him too! Some news from Dr. Trese’s former students : SUE ALT (M.S.E.S. 1993) has finished her first year in medical school in Cincinnati, but hopes to be transferring to the University of Chicago. DAN PURDOM (M.S. 1992) has decided to pursue an advanced degree in Theology, probably our first graduate to follow a calling to the Ministry. JIANBO ZHANG (M.S. 1993) writes from New Jersey that she has a beautiful daughter, Bridget (Jingyi in Chinese), who brings her much happiness! Jianbo has been working in a variety oflabs, and continues to look for a permanent position and a green card sponsor.

TOM VIERIIELLER (M.S. 1986, Ph.D. 1990) writes that he and his wife Chenzhao (Ph.D. 1991) had another son, Wade, born on Sept. 29, 1995 and in November purchased a home on the side of a mountain. They plan to stay in Prestonburg, KY, for at least a few years. Tom was up for early promotion this year and named department chair. This opportunity came sooner than he had planned. He writes that, “this could be a valuable experience for my future.” He works in a department of about 30 people including faculty, secretaries and technicians. This includes biology, nursing and dental hygiene. Chenzhao will have the chance to pick up most of the teaching load that Tom will be giving up. Dr. Mitchell passed on the following potpourri: Former graduate ANNA ANAGNOSTOPOULOS (HTC 1987) was writing with a colleague from Johns Hopkins School ofMedicine in the March issue of Trends in Genetics about the use of internet resources in mutation research. MICH REIN (HTC 1976), with a colleague from Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Dental School in London reviewed the immunotherapeutic potential of antibodies produced in plants in the December issue of Trends in Biotechnology. The capacity of plant cells to synthesize and assemble ‘virtually every kind of antibody molecule’, which process Mich has been working on for several years at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, coupled with the potential to grow these plants on an agricultural scale, opens up the possibility of producing inexpensive antibodies for therapeutic purposes. DEAN DELLA PENNA (B.S. 1985) has moved his academic caravan from Tucson, AZ. to Reno, NV. MARK SHOTWELL (HTC 1977) is continuing his professorial career at Slippery Rock University, PA. Having contributed several essays to a recent text (Essentials ofGenetics, W. S. Kiuge and M. R. Cummings), Mark has a plan to fill a paperback

Gene Mapes

GENE MAPES, NEW DIRECTOR OF THE MSES PROGRAM In July 1995, GENE MAPES was appointed director of the Master of Science in Environmental Studies program (M.S.E.S.) and greatly appreciates the excellent administra tion by the previous director, IRWIN UNGAR. This interdisciplinary program has grown steadily and sustainably since it originated in 1970. There are currently over fifty students actively involved, with an additional 28 expected in Fall 1996. Individual graduate students choose a core concentration area from life sciences, earth sciences, environmental monitoring, or policy and planning, with an interdisciplinary advisory committee and curriculum. Currently over seventy faculty from five colleges are involved. This spring we have also awarded our first Environmental Studies undergraduate certificates. This initiative was developed with Dr. Nancy Manring in Political Science in response to undergraduate students’ increasing interest in better understanding environmental issues.


1996 PBIO Newsletter