John J. Spiekerman, first author of The halophyte seashore paspalum uses adaxial leaf papillae for sodium sequestration
Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Georgia
Education: Ph.D. University of Georgia (UGA), Plant Biology; B.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Integrative Biology
Non-scientific Interests:running, playing guitar/drums, reading sci-fi
Brief bio: I became fascinated with plant biology after taking a course called ‘Global Warming, Biofuels, and Food’ during my undergraduate studies at UIUC. After gaining research experience in Don Ort’s laboratory and the SoyFACE facility, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. at UGA. During my Ph.D., I studied mechanisms of salt tolerance in seashore paspalum, a halophytic turfgrass. I compared responses to salinity in Paspalum species that differ in tolerance to better understand physiological and genetic mechanisms of salt tolerance. I hope to apply knowledge gained from halophytes to improve glycophytic grass crops in my future research.