Don Ort

| | University of Illinois

PETROSS Associate Director Don Ort is the Robert Emerson Professor in Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He is also a Plant Physiologist and Research Leader for the Photosynthesis Research Unit of the USDA Agricultural Research Service group. He directs the SoyFACE facility, which allows researchers to study crops exposed to future climate conditions within an agricultural field. Ort earned his B.S. in Biology from Wake Forest University and his Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry from Michigan State University. He served as President of International Society of Photosynthesis Research, President of the International Association of Plant Physiology, President of the American Society of Plant Biologists and as Editor-in-Chief of Plant Physiology and Associate Editor of Annual Review of Plant Biology. He has published over 250 papers in journals including Science.

Ort’s research ranges from improving photosynthetic efficiency to the molecular and biochemical basis of environmental interactions with crop plants to ecological genomics.  He has developed high-throughput imaging chlorophyll fluorescence systems for rapid non-destructive identification of cross progeny and transformants with improved photosynthetic efficiency at the seedling level for the PETROSS project.