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Washington State professor, outstanding ASU alum to give seminar

February 14, 2012

Editor's Note: Arizona State University basketball will take on Washington State University on Feb. 18. The men’s teams will play at 5 p.m., PT in Pullman, Wash., and the women’s teams at 2 p.m., MT in Tempe. Read more about ASU's collaborations with Pac-12 schools.

An Arizona State University alumnus who is carving out a distinguished career on the faculty of Washington State University will present a seminar at ASU on his work, at 2 p.m., Feb. 17, in Life Sciences 104.

Asaph Cousins, who joined the School of Biological Sciences faculty at Washington State four years ago after earning his doctorate at ASU, will present his research on plant energy metabolism and its adaptation to changing environmental conditions.

Cousins has been named to receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the ASU School of Life Sciences. He will be presented the award during the seminar, with a 1:30 p.m. reception preceding the event.

Cousins says the ability to monitor and predict how plants both influence and are influenced by future climatic conditions is critical for the health of our planet and for future food production. His research couples molecular biology techniques with plant physiology and mathematical modeling of photosynthesis.

He uses a variety of experimental techniques, including field experiments, leaf and whole plant gas exchange, recombinant DNA techniques, biochemistry and metabolite analysis.

“Understanding the regulation and flux of carbon and energy between metabolic pathways and organelles is important for determining: 1) how plants respond to environmental stress; 2) how future climatic conditions will influence plant carbon assimilation; and 3) how to maximize photosynthetic activities to help meet our current and future food and energy requirements,” he says.

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