John McPherson CheesemanProfessor Emeritus, Department of Plant Biology
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801
196 Madigan Labs
|Teaching: My major teaching interest (when I was officially teaching) was in the development of biologists from students who think they are interested in biology. Despite my retirement, I am still an active advocate of this group, especially (but not only) the students in IB Honors. My commitment to this group has been recognized through the LAS council award for outstanding undergraduate advisor in 1996, and by citation at the university level as an "outstanding teacher" more than 10 times.
Over a period of 30 years, I taught introductory biology and plant biology both to biology students and to students meeting general education requirements. At the upper levels, I taught environmental physiology, plant nutrition, form and function, and organismal biology of plants. And for 5 years, I directed the Honors Biology program within the School of Integrative Biology, taught both lecture and lab components of the organismal biology course, and mentored approximately 40 students per year in the program.
Annually, with Prof. Carol Augspurger, I still teach Field Ecology, a course which involves a 10 day field trip to a different ecosystem each year. (The example page is for our 2006 trip to Michigan... in 2011, the trip is to the Colorado Plateau).
I have also organized and/or participated in approximately 10 workshops for high school teachers on various aspects of photosynthesis (molecules to global systems), and specialized workshops in mangrove biology of the Indian Ocean region (Zanzibar, 1997), and forestry of the Caribbean region (Martinique, 2005).
Interested students are welcome to contact me for information about any of these topics/courses. We can meet either in my lab or at a coffee shop.
Research: My research is concentrated in the environmental physiology and organismal biology of plants. Recent projects have emphasized (1) mechanism by which tropical intertidal trees (mangroves) function in the face of multiple and extreme environmental stresses: this research spans levels from field measurements of photosynthesis and other physiological processes, to laboratory biochemical and enzymatic assays, to molecular level characterizations of genes involved in the metabolism of stress tolerance and the control of photosynthesis. (2) molecular characterization of mangrove "lifestyle ": in this project, we have sequenced and annotated the transcriptomes of two unrelated and functionally diverse mangroves and created a web-based, searchable database incorporating all reported sequences from mangroves. (3) phenological patterns of leaf H2O2 levels in 18 temperate zone plants: characterization of seasonal, developmental and stress related oxidant loads and their underlying causes.|
Most recently, in collaboration with Prof. Hans Bohnert and two incredibly capable post-docs (Maheshi Dassanayake and Dong-Ha Oh), I have contributed to a project sequencing, assembling, annotating and analyzing the genome of Thellungiella parvula)... a close relative of the wimpy model, Arabidopsis. The results are now out in Nature Genetics. Check out the Publications link if you want a copy.
Last updated: 8/25/11