Located at the University of California Berkeley.  Dr. Blackman’s lab is interested in how plants adapted to thrive in the face of daily and seasonal fluctuations in environmental resources and stressors. One key project they will be pursuing in 2019 focuses on the daily timing with which individual sunflower florets present pollen or become receptive to fertilization. Rings of florets in the sunflower head mature synchronously because the timing is coordinated by both temperature and the circadian clock. However, this timing varies among lines and wild populations, and this variation likely impacts pollinator visitation and fertilization success.

The Blackman Lab will seek to understand the genetics of this natural variation in the daily timing of sunflower floral development by conducting a large field experiment. They will grow diverse accessions and capture time-lapse image series of opening sunflower florets. The teacher who joins the lab for the summer may be involved in growing, filming, and scoring floral developmental timing and pollinator attraction traits on a large genetic mapping population. This will involve fieldwork in Davis, CA (~twice a week on average) as well as image analysis on the UC Berkeley campus.  Duration: Early-mid-June – early-mid August

Dr. Benjamin Blackman

The University of California Berkeley

Lab website