Carol C. Baskin

Carol C. Baskin

Research interests: Plant and Soil Sciences and Biology: Seed dormancy.

Dr. Baskin works at the whole seed level and investigates the dormancy-breaking and germination requirements of seeds with the various classes of dormancy, attempting to understand the timing of germination in nature. For the classes of dormancy, she also wants to understand their world distribution, evolutionary origins and relationships to each other.



Bob Geneve

Robert Geneve

Research Interests: Horticulture: Seed dormancy, germination and seed technology.

Industrial hemp has become an emerging crop for Kentucky. Various aspects of seed germination and quality are being assessed including using seed priming to improve stand establishment. In addition, a non-destructive seed analysis procedure using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is being developed to evaluate several seed quality attributes including seed vigor. 



Tomo Kawashima

Tomo Kawashima

Research Interests: Plant and Soil Sciences: Molecular mechanism involved in fertilization and early embryogenesis.

Seed development consists of a series of processes from fertilization, embryo and endosperm development, to seed dormancy. Using real-time live-cell confocal imaging, our lab is investigating cellular dynamics of plant fertilization and endosperm development. Along with Arabidopsis as the model plant, we also study soybean seed development for agricultural perspective as well as the fertilization process of the liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, for evolutionary perspective.  

Kawashima Lab Website Link



Sharyn Perry

Sharyn Perry

Research Interests: Plant and Soil Sciences: Transcription Factor mediated control of Embryogenesis in plants.

The focus of our research program involves investigating gene regulatory networks active during plant embryo development. We look not only at embryo development within the seed, but are also interested in a process of regeneration called somatic embryogenesis where cells can be induced to form embryos and plants recovered.


Seth DeBolt

Research Interests: Horticulture: Morphological adaptations of the seed coat.

Dr. DeBolt is eager to improve our knowledge of the key chemical components that determine quality in alcoholic beverages. Dr. DeBolt is the director of the Distillation, Wine and Brewing Undergraduate Certificate Program at the University of Kentucky and is collaborating on a variety of projects across campus and within the spirits industry focusing on bourbon whiskey production, flavor and quality. He is also interested in the fundamental mechanisms by which plants create shape and form structure, focusing on structural carbohydrates and how these can be used by humans.

Dr. DeBolt's Plant Biology Lab








Erin Haramoto

Research Interests: Weed Science, Soil Science, Seed Dormancy, Seed Ecology

Our research focuses on integrated weed management in grain crops. We do a lot of research with cover crops – these are plants grown outside of our cash crop windows that help protect the soil.  While growing and after they’ve been killed, they also help to suppress weeds. How does this relate to seed biology?  Weed suppression by cover crops is often mediated through weed seeds – cover crops and their residues change the soil environment and can have large influences on seed germination. Additionally, this altered soil environment may provide better habitat for organisms that eat and decay weed seeds.

Website Coming Soon




Carlos Lopez

Horticulture: Epigenetics of seed germination and early seedling growth.

Dr. Carlos Lopez's current research is focused in the field of environmental genomics including plant/microbiome and epigenome/environment interactions in crop and wild species. Carlos is also interested in biomarker discovery for human health, forensics, agriculture, food quality and security.



Tim Phillips

Research Interests: Forage grass breeding, chia, cereal rye, ploidy in crop species, and seedling vigor.

My main activities focus on applied plant breeding (variety development), using several species, including: tall fescue, orchardgrass, timothy, annual ryegrass, cereal rye, and chia. Use of colchicine to double the chromosome number of wide hybrids, and production of autotetraploids is another area of active research in my lab and is aided by using flow cytometry. Production of high-quality breeder seed of new cultivars, and evaluation of seedling vigor in forage grass species is a third focus area in my group. 

Bruce Downie

Bruce Downie

Research interests: Horticulture: Anhydrobiosis and the natural protection and repair mechanism.

The Downie Lab has focused on elucidating how the stored seed proteome (produced late during embryogenesis, prior to dehydration, and stored in the desiccated seed for use during germination) is protected prior to and during dehydration, and repaired after the reintroduction of water (imbibition).



Pradeep Kachroo

Pradeep Kachroo

Research Interests: Plant Pathology: Seed fungal pathogens.

The overall goal of our research is to help understand how specific signaling pathways are induced during during biotic and abiotic interaction, how these pathways communicate with each other and the molecular, genetic and biochemical mechanisms underlying such regulations. With regards to signaling mechanisms our main interest is to decipher the role of fatty acid, lipid and cuticular pathways in local and systemic immunity, and to understand interaction between light and defense signaling.









Luke Moe

Research interests: seed microbiomes, seed germination, microbial ecology of grain-based fermentation

Our research focuses broadly on the genetics, biochemistry, and ecology of plant-associated microbes.  Microbes play key roles in plant health and postharvest processes, and can impact seed germination and overall quality. We have an interest in understanding how microbes colonize seeds and their potential for vertical transmission, as well as the roles that they play in germination and their potential for suppression of pathogens.  We also conduct research on the microbial ecology of grain-based fermentations, with a special interest in the impacts (both positive and negative) of seed-borne bacteria on production of distilled spirits in Kentucky. 

Moe Lab Website

Montse Salmerson

Montse Salmeron

Research Interests: Plant and Soil Sciences: Crop improvement of soybean and wheat.

Our lab integrates eco-physiology research with crop simulation models to study the interactive effects of environment, management, and crop genetics on seed quantity and quality of grain crops, with specific interest in soybean. Our research questions try to fill knowledge gaps in our understanding of processes that determine yield and grain composition and incorporate these findings in process-based eco-physiological models.

Salmeron Lab Website Link



Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Dennis Egli, Crop Physiologist

Dr. Dennis TeKrony, Seed Physiology/Technology