The Genomics Lab is home to Forest Service researchers in plant physiology and plant pathology that investigate, using applied and genomic tools, a myriad of topics vital to the care and management of forests within the Central Hardwoods Forest Region.
The Genomics Lab is located in Pfendler Hall, Room 258, 715 W. State St., West Lafayette, IN, 47907.
The major objectives of Dr. Lawson’s current research projects include:
- Evaluating genetic diversity within black walnut and Persian walnut populations using bioinformatics techniques;
- Investigating differential expression of genes observed in fine hardwood responses to abiotic stress conditions;
- Comparing individual samples of figured wood with those collected from non-figured Acacia koa using bioinformatics methodologies and using data obtained from the study to inform future research on fine hardwood species in the Central Hardwoods Region (CHR);
- Determining soil suitability indices for black walnut and Northern Red oak of known genotypes.
Dr. Lawson's research interests are focused on comparative analysis of differentially expressed genes related to abiotic stress tolerance and wood formation in tropical hardwood and Central Hardwoods Region forest tree populations. Dr. Lawson's methodologies involve use of -omics, in silica, ex vitro, and molecular-based data acquisition aided by field experimentation.
Previous research efforts in this field involved three distinct topics:
- Overexpression of wax formation and salt tolerance genes in poplar to increase salt tolerance and improve water-use efficiency;
- Manipulation of stomatal density in poplar to improve water-use efficiency;
- Engineering drought tolerance in poplar.
Shaneka S. Lawson, Ph.D.
Research Plant Physiologist
USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station
Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC)
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Adjunct Assistant Professor
725 W. State St., Pfendler 226C
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033