Dr. Robert VanBuren received his PhD from University of Illinois in 2014 working with Ray Ming on the evolution of plant sex chromosomes. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU, he was an NSF plant genome postdoctoral fellow at The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center with Todd Mockler. At the Danforth Center, he worked on the evolution of drought induced CAM photosynthesis. Dr. VanBuren joined the department of Horticulture in 2016.
The VanBuren lab applies an integrative genomic, quantitative genetics, and evolutionary approach to understand the genetic basis of natural adaptations in plants for targeted crop improvement. This work centers on the evolution of CAM photosynthesis and extreme desiccation tolerance in resurrection plants. We also use more conventional marker assisted breeding coupled with systems biology approaches to improve drought tolerance of underutilized crop species. Ongoing work centers around establishing genetic and genomic resources for the orphan grain crops tef and finger millet to improving yield, stress tolerance, and forage potential.
Click here to go to the VanBuren Lab Website.
Click here to go to Robert VanBuren's Google Scholar Page.