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Science Café: Héctor E. Pérez

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April 25 @ 6:00 pm

Science Café: Héctor E. Pérez


April 25
6:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30309 United States

Héctor E. Pérez | Professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, University of Florida | Thursday, April 25, 6 p.m. | Location: Mershon Hall + Facebook Live | Are Today’s Seeds Ready for the Climate Challenges of Tomorrow?

Speaker Bio: Héctor E. Pérez earned an M.S. in Horticultural Science from the University of Florida. He then went on to the University of Hawai’i where he earned a Ph.D. in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences with a specialization in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology in 2006. Héctor began with the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida that year and his research focuses on seed biology. Héctor has been working at the intersection of seed biology and plant conservation since his days as a graduate student. Héctor enjoys unraveling how seeds tolerate various types of environmental stressors and realizing the benefits of such knowledge for plant conservation. He is excited to continue this work while also venturing into other areas including assisting limited-resource farmers to develop seed production practices. A new research area involves investigating how outer space and other planetary environments may influence seed quality.

Description of Presentation: Seeds are exquisite environmental sensors. For example, a hydrated seed is constantly sensing environmental signals such as temperature, light, and oxygen levels. A seed then integrates all this information to align germination with environmental conditions that should support seedling growth. But what happens when environmental signals are predicted to stay near or outside the limits that allow germination to occur? We will explore such questions by first examining the Earth’s climate history and predictions of where it is heading. We will then dive into seed biology to understand how seeds work with an emphasis on operational limits that govern seed processes such as germination. Finally, we will synthesize this information in an attempt to answer the question “are today’s seeds ready for the climate challenges of tomorrow”.

Additional Outreach: University of Florida Seed Biology Lab

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