Dr. Richard Meilan's website
Richard “Rick” Meilan is an Professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) at Purdue University. Rick received his B.S. (summa cum laude) in Forest Science from Humboldt State University (HSU) in 1983, his M.S. in Forestry from HSU in 1985, and a joint Ph.D. (with honors) in Botany (Physiology and Molecular Biology) and Forestry (Forest Biology) from Iowa State University in 1990. He worked four years as a Rockefeller Foundation post-doctoral research fellow before joining the faculty in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was on the faculty in the Forest Science Department at Oregon State University for nine years before coming to Purdue in October 2003.
The Meilan laboratory utilizes molecular tools to investigate the genetic mechanisms by which key aspects of tree growth and development are controlled. He is also attempting to domesticate and add value to various tree species by genetically engineering them to express genes that impart environmentally beneficial and commercially important traits. Active research projects include efforts to insert into poplar genes that affect cell-wall properties (e.g., lignin content and composition, and cellulose configuration); water-use efficiency; and poplar’s ability to remediate contaminated sites. In addition, he and his group are trying to identify genes that regulate the formation of figured wood and the initiation of lateral and adventitious roots.
Research Group - Ecology of Natural Systems, Forest Science, Genetics
Facilities - Forest Ecology, Soils, and Silviculture Lab, Genetics Lab, John S. Wright Center, Molecular Tree Physiology Lab
Related Centers - Energy Center, Natural Resources Leadership Development Institute, Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, C3Bio