Research Interests: We have recently been awarded a Beckman Young Investigator Award by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to explore collective behaviors in plants that might be originating from root-root connections that would enable plants to form communities capable of exchanging effectively small amounts of signaling molecules over large distances. Interestingly, the behavior of this community should then depend on the topology of the network formed by the root systems. Our proposal detailed the construction of experimental setups for the creation of such communities of plants and their investigation.
This study is highly interdisciplinary and would require expertise that extend far beyond pure engineering. We are therefore interested in candidates that would understand biology but also have the mathematical capabilities to handle network theory, without being afraid of the highly disciplined type of experimental work that is required.