PhD Field of Plant Biology

Revealing fundamental principles of plant biology and evolution

Graduate study in Cornell's Integrative School of Plant Science is organized into five Graduate Fields providing unparalleled opportunities to connect disciplines, creatively solve problems, and integrate complex systems, preparing graduates for diverse careers and futures as leaders in science and society.

Programs in the Field of Plant Biology range from the molecular/genetic investigation of fundamental plant processes and mathematical modeling of plant development to study of plant diversity and evolution. Most of the faculty advisors in the Field of Plant Biology are affiliated with the Section of Plant Biology in the School of Integrative Plant Science. The Graduate Field of Plant Biology encompasses a broad range of topics.

Contact Us

Karin Jantz
Graduate Field Coordinator
233 Emerson Hall
Phone: 607-255-4075
Email: kpg2 [at]

Mike Scanlon
Director of Graduate Studies
261 Plant Science Building
Phone: 607-254-1156
Email: mjs298 [at]

What's happening in Plant Biology?

Learn more about research, education, and outreach in the Field of Plant Biology

A headshot of Laura Gunn


Meet our faculty: Laura Gunn
Academic focus: Synthetic biology, structural biology and biochemistry Research summary: I study nature’s vital, but notoriously inefficient, carbon fixing enzyme called Rubisco. The aim is to target Rubisco function to enhance the efficiency of...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section
  • Biology


  • Lab of Ornithology
  • Animal Science
  • Biological and Environmental Engineering
Scientists look at plants.


A new multi-institution, transdisciplinary center will develop systems for two-way communication with plants, allowing scientists to remotely sense a plant’s biology and its immediate ecosystem, in hopes of one day using the information to improve plant growth.
  • Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture
  • Plant Biology Section
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Man holds a fresh salmon.


Breeding Insight, a new program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through Cornell University, will share latest tools with breeders in the U.S.
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
a young professor and a student look at a document together


Students, faculty and staff were recognized for their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and excellence within the graduate community at the 2021 Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Awards and Recognition Celebration.
  • Department of Communication
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Department of Entomology