My research interests are in plant, and more recently algal, ecological physiology
and biochemistry, stress physiology and stress proteins (especially heat-shock proteins,
or HSPs), photosynthesis and respiration, and nutrient relations. Most of my current
and recent research is focused on:
- Environmental controls associated with global climate change (e.g., CO2, nitrogen,
temperature), on tolerance and adaptations of plants to acute heat stress [with particular
focus on photosynthesis and HSPs, plant productivity, and community composition];
- Understanding the mechanisms by which low-molecular-weight, or small, (HSPs) protect
photosynthesis and respiration during stress, especially heat stress;
- The patterns, functional consequences, and causes of natural variation in protection
of metabolism by small HSPs;
- Nutrient (especially micronutrient) deficiency and toxicity effects on physiology
and protein and gene expression in plants; and
- Abiotic effects on stress-protein production and performance in freshwater algae.
>> View more on Dr. Heckathorn's website.
- EEES 1160 PLANTS AND SOCIETY [3 hours]
This course centers on the importance of plants to our planet. Includes an introduction
to botany and discussion of plants that provide food, materials, spices, medicines,
drugs and poisons. (Not for credit in the major) [Spring] Natural Sciences core course.
- EEES 2150 BIODIVERSITY [3 hours]
Examination of the diversity of life on earth and its evolution, systematics and behavior;
the structure of ecosystems, and concepts of population and community ecology. [Fall]
Natural Sciences core course.