Undergraduate Research opportunities

Purdue University is one of the nation's leading research institutions. There is a vibrant culture of undergraduate student research at Purdue with almost 2,000 research projects completed every year. An emphasis on experiential learning and the real-world application of knowledge are two distinguishing characteristics of the Purdue student experience.

As a Plant Science undergraduate student, participating in research is part of your student experience! The two courses we offer for research are BTNY 29800 (available for freshmen and sophomores) and BTNY 49800 (available for juniors and seniors). 

Undergraduate Research Application Process (Click here to download the full step by step list)

  1. Contact a BTNY faculty research instructor that you are interested in researching with to discuss the research opportunity and plan your research project. During this step, you will identify the project title, hypothesis, description of research methods, and number of hours for the semester.
  2. Email Darcy Allen with the name and email of your research instructor.
  3. Darcy will send you the research application as a DocuSign form to complete.  You must complete all of the required fields and sign it, then the document will be emailed to your research instructor to comment and sign. 
  4. In the meantime, during open registration Use Scheduling Assistant to register for BTNY 29800 or BTNY 49800 with the Course Reference Number (CRN) assigned to your research instructor (CRN is available in myPurdue > Look Up Classes); you will need to request an override for permission from department.  Please comment with the number of credits you are planning to complete. (This process is not available during preregistration)
  5. Once your application is approved by the department undergraduate chair, your application will be sent to Darcy to be filed.  Darcy will approve your override request to register and you need to confirm your registration in Scheduling Assistant. IF YOU ARE COMPLETING MORE THAN ONE RESEARCH CREDIT, you will need to adjust the number of registered credits.  Here are instructions on how to adjust your credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYvXSCEVXx8 

 

Researchers in our department specialize in the areas of Plant Pathology, Weed Science, and Plant Biology

Plant Pathology

Cathie Aime

Cathie Aime

Mycology
Systematics, biology, and genomics of basidiomycetes with emphasis on rust fungi and tropical biodiversity.
Janna Beckerman

Janna Beckerman

Ornamental and Fruit Diseases
Extension and research activities related to diseases of landscape ornamentals, nursery and greenhouse disease management, and small/tree fruit diseases.
Guohong Cai

Guohong Cai

Soybean Plant Pathology
Pathogen biology, population and genomics; host-pathogen interactions; and phytobiome.
Zhixiang Chen

Zhixiang Chen

Molecular Plant Pathogen Interactions
Molecular basis of plant disease resistance; regulation of gene expression and signal transduction during plant defense responses to microbial pathogens.
Christian Cruz

Christian Cruz

Plant Disease Management
Fungal ecology, epidemiology, host resistance, sensor based methods for disease detection and quantification, data science and crop biosecurity.
Steven Goodwin

Steven Goodwin

Plant Pathology
Molecular genetics of host-pathogen interactions; population genetics,evolution and speciation of plant pathogenic fungi; genetics and genomics of disease resistance in small grains.
Anjali Iyer-Pascuzzi

Anjali Iyer-Pascuzzi

Molecular Plant Pathology
Molecular and genetic basis of bacterial wilt disease and root development in tomato and Arabidopsis.
Guri Johal

Guri Johal

Maize Molecular Pathology and Genetics
Molecular and genetic basis of maize interactions with fungal pathogens; disease lesion mimic mutants and programmed cell death in maize.
Lee Miller

Lee Miller

Turfgrass Pathology
Etiology, epidemiology, and management of turfgrass diseases.
Sue Loesch-Fries

Sue Loesch-Fries

Molecular Virology
Function of viral genes in virus replication, disease development, and virus control.
Tesfaye Mengiste

Tesfaye Mengiste

Molecular Genetics of Plant Immunity
Molecular genetics of plant immune responses to fungal pathogens.
Darcy Telenko

Darcy Telenko

Field Crop Pathology
Extension and research on the biology and management of field crop diseases.
Jin-Rong Xu

Jin-Rong Xu

Fungal Biology
Characterization of infection-related signaling pathways and genes important for fungal-plant interactions in Magnaporthe grisea and Fusarium graminearum.
Lei  Zhang

Lei Zhang

Plant-Nematode Interactions
Focus on Plant-Nematode Interactions, biological control of soybean cyst nematode, and nematode effector biology.

Weed Science

Kevin Gibson

Kevin Gibson

Weed Science
Ecology, biology, and management of invasive plant species and herbicide resistant weeds.
Bill  Johnson

Bill Johnson

Weed Science
Biology and management of economically important weeds in agronomic crops; interactions between weeds, insects, and diseases.
Bryan  Young

Bryan Young

Weed Science
Weed biology and ecology relative to developing effective management strategies in agronomic crops, herbicide application technologies for optimization and stewardship of herbicide use, and the physiological characterization of herbicide resistant weed biotypes.

Plant Biology

Leonor  Boavida

Leonor Boavida

Plant Cell and Developmental Biology
Plant reproductive development, gamete identity and function, cell-cell communication.
Jeneen  Fields

Jeneen Fields

Plant Breeding and Pathology
Field and molecular breeding for quality trait improvement and disease resistance in legumes and student engagement research.
Sharon  Kessler

Sharon Kessler

Plant Cell and Developmental Biology
Signaling in plant reproductive development.
Damon  Lisch

Damon Lisch

Plant Epigenetics
Epigenetic regulation of transposable elements in plants.
Scott  McAdam

Scott McAdam

Plant Evolutionary Physiology
Evolution of drought tolerance and response in plants, from stomatal behavior to xylem physiology and hormones.
Gordon  McNickle

Gordon McNickle

Plant Ecology
Plant species coexistence and community structure. Ecological interactions with a focus on evolutionary game theory.
Mike  Mickelbart

Mike Mickelbart

Plant Physiology
Plant adaptation to the environment and plant water use.
Christopher  Oakley

Christopher Oakley

Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics of Plants
Genetic basis of local adaptation, consequences of genetic drift for adaptation and population persistence.
Bob  Pruitt

Bob Pruitt

Plant Molecular Biology
Molecular and genetic regulation of growth and development of plants and their interactions with bacteria.
Chris  Staiger

Chris Staiger

Plant Cell Biology
Cellular basis of plant disease resistance and cytoskeletal response to biotic stress.
Dan Szymanski

Dan Szymanski

Plant Cell Biology
Genetics and cell biology of plant growth. Molecular genetic live cell imaging, biochemistry, computational modeling of plant cell morphogenesis.
Gyeong Mee Yoon

Gyeong Mee Yoon

Plant Hormone Biology
Molecular, genetic, and biochemistry basis of the gaseous plant hormone ethylene function; protein turnover regulation in ethylene biosynthesis; ethylene signaling pathway.
Yun  Zhou

Yun Zhou

Plant Cell and Developmental Biology
Plant stem cells, transcriptional signaling in plant development, cell-cell communication, live imaging, quantitative developmental biology.

For a more in-depth description of the Botany and Plant Pathology faculty research areas, click here.