My research focuses on how plants perceive abiotic stress and alter their transcriptional programs as a response to the specific stress. My lab aims to capture natural genetic variation and the resultant transcriptional states leading to plant adaptation and resilience by using a combination of genomic, systems biology and phylogenetic tools. Specifically, the research aims to understand how plants alter their transcriptional program immediately in response to thermal stress in the short term. In the long term we want to understand how plants change their overall gene expression regime on evolutionary scales to adapt to colder and warmer climates.
My research uses phylogenomic approaches to identify gene-to-trait association by tracking recurring changes in plant genomes that co-occur with the gain/loss of a trait. Independently, we apply systems biology approaches in the model plants, to understand transcriptional reprogramming in response to environmental stimuli such as temperature, nutrition etc. We are particularly interested in whether these transient changes in the plant transcriptome offer insights into plant adaptation to diverse environments.