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

Scientists look at plants.


$25M center will use digital tools to ‘communicate’ with 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
A person doing lab research


The Cornell China Center (CCC) has announced six new grant awards, totaling $140,000, to support research by Cornell faculty teams partnering with researchers in China.
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section
  • Biological and Environmental Engineering
Anthocerotibacter panamensis under a microscope


Led by Boyce Thompson Institute faculty member Fay-Wei Li, researchers have discovered a new species of cyanobacteria, Anthocerotibacter panamensis, which could help illuminate how photosynthesis evolved to create the world as we know it. The...
  • Boyce Thompson Institute
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section