Record-setting heat in summer 2012 wreaked havoc on Missouri’s corn crops.
Mizzou is in good company. Project participants are experts in plant sciences, atmospheric and environmental sciences, bioinformatics engineering, social sciences and education. They come from:
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Missouri University of Science and Technology
University of Missouri-St. Louis
St. Louis Danforth Plant Sciences Center
St. Louis Science Center
St. Louis University
You know what they say about Missouri weather: Don’t like it? Wait 20 minutes, and it will change. Or: Missouri weather is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.
But how do the state’s extreme highs and lows, year after year, affect the people and the plants living here?
Soon we might have answers.
The National Science Foundation is giving $20 million to Missouri scientists for a project called “The Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants and Community.” Researchers from Mizzou and eight other institutions will study the agricultural, ecological, economic and social effects of the state’s climate variability — the way our climate fluctuates above or below a long-term average year to year.
Tigers Take the Lead
Within the research consortium, Mizzou is playing a vital role.
Working with The Mizzou Advantage, a team of Mizzou grant writers wrote the grant for the funding, which comes from the NSF’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
Mizzou biology professor John Walker is the project’s principal investigator. An award-winning researcher, Walker has held leadership positions in Mizzou’s Interdisciplinary Plant Group, Proteomics Center and Bond Life Sciences Center. Currently he is the director of the Division of Biological Sciences.
Walker’s research focuses on cellular signaling in plants — a process affected by extreme weather.