Molecular biochemical basis for environmental effects on photosynthesis and photosynthetic energy transduction

The Ort Lab

Michell L. Thomey

Michell L. Thomey, Ph.D.
Research Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS and
Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate
Carl R. Woese Institute For Genomic Biology
University of Illinois
1201 W Gregory Dr
Urbana, IL 61801 USA

The focus of my research is to understand the physiological mechanisms that drive species and community-scale response to climate change. Most of my work has focused on precipitation variability and drought in semiarid grasslands. Recently, I had the opportunity to expand in to the world of Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) in an agro-ecosystem. In the face of climate change, a key challenge across cropland systems is to maintain productivity at rates that keep pace with increasing global population. In my current research, I am utilizing the SoyFACE (Soybean Free Air Concentration Experiment; Savoy, Illinois, USA) facility to study how abrupt changes in temperature associated with heat wave events affect physiology and yield of Glycine max (Soybean) growing under elevated CO2.

Representative publications:

Thomey ML, Collins SL, Friggens MT, Brown RF, Pockman WT (2014) Monsoon precipitation extremes and the response of two dominant grassland species across a semiarid ecotone. Oecologia, 176, 751-762

Shi Z, Thomey ML, Mowll W, Litvak M, Brunsell NA, Collins SL, Pockman WT, Smith MD, Knapp AK, Luo Y (2014) Differential effects of extreme drought on production and respiration: synthesis and modeling analysis. Biogeosciences, 11, 621-633

Thomey ML, Collins SL, Vargas R, Johnson JE, Brown RF, Natvig DO, Friggens MT (2011) Effect of precipitation variability on net primary production and soil respiration in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. Global Change Biology, 17, 1505-1515

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Image 1: Heat wave plot located in a FACE ring (SoyFACE; Savoy, Illinois, USA).
Image 2: Glycine max (soybean)
Image 3: Rainout shelters constructed to study extreme rainfall and the physiological response of Bouteloua eriopoda and B. gracilis in Chihuahuan Desert grassland and Shortgrass Steppe (New Mexico, USA).
Image 4: Overhead sprinkling system designed to study magnitude and frequency of rainfall events in Chihuahuan Desert grassland (New Mexico, USA).

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last updated October 1, 2015
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