Professor and Chair, School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Biology Section
Joss completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Manchester, UK before working for a couple of years for what was previously ICI Seeds (later named Zeneca Plant Science and then Syngenta) at Jealotts’ Hill Research Station, Berkshire, UK.
He made the jump across the Atlantic to study for his Ph.D. at the University of California Davis, working on the mechanisms of cell wall modification in ripening. In 1997, he moved to the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, at the University of Georgia, where his postdoctoral research focused again on cell wall metabolism, but this time in the context of plant-pathogen interactions and the evolution of apoplastic defense mechanisms.
In 2000, Joss accepted a faculty position in the Department of Plant Biology at Cornell University (now renamed the Plant Biology Section in the School of Integrative Plant Science), where he has continued his interests in the many facets of plant cell wall biology and associated extracellular processes, including the distribution and function of secreted polysaccharides, lipids, proteins and metabolites. The lab has also developed techniques to study spatiotemporal cell and tissue type specific gene expression, and their applications to study the plant epidermis. The lab uses tomato fruit development as a key experimental model system.
The lab’s research portfolio has recently expanded to include studies of the evolutionary origins of land plants and key adaptations to abiotic stresses associated with the terrestrial habitats of embryophytes, as well as those of semi-aquatic charophyte algae in the sister lineage of land plants.
From 2010-2019 Joss served as the Director of Cornell’s Institute of Biotechnology and Center for Life Science Enterprise, a New York State Center for Advanced Technology. During this time he is also served as the operational manager for the McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences.
Plant structural polymers, cell wall structure and function
Cuticles and plant surfaces
Awards & Honors
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2014
331 Emerson Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
jr286 [at] cornell.edu
Jocelyn in the news
Benjamin Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean, recognized 41 faculty and staff members for their remarkable accomplishments at the 2021 CALS Research, Extension and Core Value Staff Awards ceremony.
- Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
- Department of Communication
- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The report, “The Penium margaritaceum Genome: Hallmarks of the Origins of Land Plants,” was published May 21 in the journal Cell. Penium margaritaceum belongs to a group of freshwater algae called charophytes, and specifically to a subgroup...
- Cornell Atkinson
- Boyce Thompson Institute
- School of Integrative Plant Science