Photosynthetic organisms provide the oxygen we breathe, the food we eat, and essential materials and fuels to power our world. Understanding and engineering plants and algae is crucial to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of a growing global human population in a changing climate change.

Plant Physiology


This is an upper division course covering fundamental mechanisms of how plants function and interact with their environment. Lecture topics include plant water relations, nutrient transport and assimilation, photosynthesis, respiration, flowering control, seed germination and development, vegetative growth, and plant senescence. Students will acquire laboratory skills on how to perform and report plant physiological experiments including assessing plant water and photosynthetic status, and quantifying and determining types of plant abiotic stress.


(BPSC 149/225P)

Graduate and undegraduate course about the highly interdisciplinary field of nanobiotechnology and its application to plants, algae and biomedicine. Topics include targeted and controlled drug delivery, nanoprobes for electrical recording, optical nanosensors, nanotechnology in photosynthesis and cancer research, nanobots, plant nanobionics and biomanufacturing, and cyborg tissues.

Introduction to Organismal Biology (BIOL5B)

This course provides an overview of the diversity of life on earth – from algae to redwoods, amoebas to primates – and covers development, physiological regulation, and reproduction in plants and animals. Evolutionary relationships (how organisms are related through common ancestry) and functional relationships (how organisms and physiological systems interact with each other and with their environment) will be emphasized throughout.