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 Sheena Sanchez.


June 7, 2023

9:30am-3:45pm 1100 Terasaki Life Sciences Building (TLSB)

EEB Graduate Students
UCLA, Dept of EEB

" EEB Graduate Student Exit Seminar Symposium 2023 "



Spring 2023 Graduate Student Exit Seminar Symposium
9:30am-10:30am Mary Van Dyke

Kraft Lab

“Plant Community Responses to Long Term Variation in Rainfall:  Implications for Coexistence and Global Change”
10:45am-11:45am Eleanor Diamant

Yeh Lab

Multiple stressors within and across populations: how predictable and repeatable is population response, evolution, and adaptation?
1:30pm-2:30pm Alec Baird

Sack Lab

“Integrating developmental processes with leaf structure and function to clarify mechanisms of environmental adaptation”
2:45pm-3:45pm Benjamin Ha

Jacobs Lab

“Interdisciplinary Approaches to Conservation Biology: From management implications to the effects of active learning in higher education”


Seminars will take place, in-person, in 1100 Terasaki Life Sciences Building (TLSB)


Seminars will also be available, live-stream, via Zoom.


Alec Baird, Sack Lab

Integrating developmental processes with leaf structure and function to clarify mechanisms of environmental adaptation

Leaf structure and function is important in driving ecosystem fluxes, tolerance of environmental stressors, species distributions and climate change responses, with applications for agricultural breeding and engineering. Yet, the interface of leaf hydraulic structure and function with the spatial and temporal aspects of developmental processes has largely been unexplored across species. Such a pursuit has the power to provide deep insight into the drivers and constraints on the evolution of physiological adaptation. I will present five chapters that leverage developmental processes to gain insight into how diverse hydraulic mechanisms arise, how developmental constraints influence environmental adaptation, how allometric relationships among cell and tissue anatomy and leaf size arise, and how leaf economics are linked with leaf expansion processes. For three of these chapters, I focus on diverse grasses, and demonstrate that 1) grass leaf size is critical trait for climate adaptation globally, due to developmental constraints between leaf growth and venation, 2) C3 and C4 grasses evolved some similar but also differential leaf cell, tissue and morphological allometries, 3) C3 and C4 grasses evolved contrasting hydraulic mechanisms that underlie their climate adaptation. For the last two chapters, I focus on diverse eudicot species and show 4) the developmental bases for leaf trichome and stomatal densities for trichomous species, and how their developmental processes allow for positive coordination across species, and 5) how leaf expansion processes are coordinated with the leaf economics spectrum. This work highlights the importance of incorporating developmental processes to better understand the evolution of leaf structure and function, and will provide critical avenues for predicting responses to climate change and applications for agriculture.

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA acknowledges our presence on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples.

Host: EEB Graduate Students