Button to scroll to the top of the page.

Updates

Campus health and safety are our top priorities. Get the latest from UT on COVID-19.

Get help with Zoom and more.

JUENGER, THOMAS E

Thomas E Juenger

Professor
Department of Integrative Biology

C. L. Lundell Chair of Systematic Botany


tjuenger@austin.utexas.edu

Phone: 512-232-5751

Office Location
PAT

Postal Address
2415 SPEEDWAY
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Tom Juenger is a Professor in the Section of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Center for Computation Biology and Bioinformatics. Tom received a B.S. in Ecology, Ethology, and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Before heading to graduate school, he worked as a botanist for the Illinois Natural History Survey, for The Nature Conservancy Colorado Field Office, and on a variety of field research related projects including studies of tropical fruit bats and bird behavioral ecology.

In 1994, Tom started graduate school at the University of Chicago in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, where he worked with Joy Bergelson. His dissertation focused on the ecology and evolution of species interactions in natural scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) populations. This work included a mixture of natural history observations, field manipulations, and quantitative genetic analyses. Near the end of graduate school, Tom began working with Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system for studying evolutionary quantitative genetics. In 1999, Tom obtained his Ph.D from UC and received a Miller Institute Postdoctoral fellowship. As a Miller Fellow at UC-Berkeley, Tom worked with Ellen Simms on a variety of questions including studies of the genetic basis of phenotypic plasticity, the quantitative genetics of physiological traits and stress responses, and ecological studies of interactions between plants and nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Tom began an appointment at the University of Texas at Austin in 2002, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Evolutionary Biology. Tom’s research explores topics in the ecological and evolutionary genetics of natural populations. He is generally interested in phenotypic evolution. A current focus of the lab is the identification and characterization of genes underlying variation in drought adaptation among Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes collected from around the world. In addition, he has long-standing interests in the ecology and evolution of plant-animal interactions, including projects focused on pollination biology and herbivory in natural scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) populations.

Most recently, the Juenger lab has started a number of project exploring physiological genomics and evolution in C3 (Brachypodium) and C4 (Panicum) grasses.

Research Summary:

My research focuses on the interface of ecological and evolutionary processes in natural plant
populations. I am generally interested in phenotypic evolution, and have studied a number of systems over the course of my career. A current focus in the lab is the identification and characterization of genes underlying variation in drought adaptation among Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes collected from around the world. This work is motivated by a desire to understand how climate and habitat variation have influenced the evolution of plant physiology. In addition, I have long-standing interests in the ecology and evolution of plant-animal interactions, including projects focused on pollination biology and herbivory in natural scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) populations. Most recently, we have initiated studies of physiology and genomics in biofuel crops, including switchgrass (Panicum) and false brome (Brachypodium).
A common theme of our work is the interplay of genetic and functional studies. Our approach usually couples quantitative genetic experiments [classic breeding designs & QTL/LD mapping], population genetic approaches, and selection analyses in studies of natural genetic variation. Ultimately, we�d like to understand the forces shaping patterns of genetic variability in natural populations across a variety of selective regimes.

Google Scholar Page


Publications:

2021.  Lovell et al. Genomic mechanisms of climate adaptation in polyploid bioenergy switchgrass.  Nature 590: 438-444.

2020. Bellis et al.  Genomics of sorghum local adaptation to a parasitic plant.  Proceedings of the National Academy 117: 4243-4251.

2019. Abdulkina et al.  Components of the ribosome biogenesis pathway underlie establishment of telomere length set point in Arabidopsis.  Nature Communications 10: 5479.

2019. Lowry et al. QTL x environment interactions underlie adaptive divergence in switchgrass across ten field sites distributed over a large latitudinal gradient. Proceedings of the National Academy 116: 12933-12941.

2018. Lovell et al.  The genomic landscape of molecular responses to natural drought stress in Panicum hallii.  Nature Communications 9; 5213.

2015. Lowry DB, Hernandez K, Taylor SH, Meyer E, Logan TL, Barry KW, Chapman JA, Rokhsar DS, Schmutz J, Juenger TE. The genetics of divergence and reproductive isolation between ecotypes of Panicum hallii. New Phytol;205(1):402-14

2015. Des Marais DL, Skillern WD, Juenger TE. Deeply Diverged Alleles in the Arabidopsis AREB1 Transcription Factor Drive Genome-Wide Differences in Transcriptional Response to the Environment. Mol Biol Evol;32(4):956-69.

2014. Lasky JR, Des Marais DL, Lowry DB, Povolotskaya I, McKay JK, Richards JH, Keitt TH, Juenger TE. Natural variation in abiotic stress responsive gene expression and local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana. Mol Biol Evol;31(9):2283-96.

2010 Juenger TE, Sen S, Bray E, Stahl E, Wayne T, McKay J, Richards JH., Exploring genetic and expression differences between physiologically extreme ecotypes: comparative genomic hybridization and gene expression studies of Kas-1 and Tsu-1 accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana., Plant Cell Environ 1;33:: 1268-84