AAC Monthly Meeting

  • 12 Apr 2022
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Kika Silva Pla Planetarium & Zoom


Registration is closed

Our speaker will be in attending in person, we would love it if you could attend in person too!


7:00 - 7:15 General Meeting & Announcements
7:15 - 7:30 Short topic presentation by a club member

7:30 - 7:45 Refreshment break

7:45 - Public Presentation


Dr. Anna-Lisa Paul

Director, University of Florida (UF) Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research

Research Professor, UF Horticulture Sciences


Topic: Plant Experiments in Space


Before there was access to space, all experiments on plant growth were conducted under the influence of gravity. Access to micro-gravity through spaceflight has opened new doors to plant research which is necessary for mankind’s ability to survive long-term spaceflight and while at Mars outposts. Dr. Paul will provide an overview of some of the methodologies of conducting plant research in the unique environment of space.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Paul received her BA in Botany from the University of South Florida (USF) in 1980; her M.S. in Plant Phys. / Physiological Ecology from USF in 1984; and her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics / Epigenetics from UF in 1989. Dr. Paul did her postdoctoral work in Chromatin Architecture at UF and Northwestern University from 1990 to 1995.

Since 1996 Dr. Paul has worked at UF in the areas of Horticulture Sciences, Genetics and Genomics and Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology. Dr. Paul’s international work includes the EDEN ISS Project at the German Space Agency (DLR), Bremen Germany which included deployment to the Neumayer Research Station, Antarctica. Since 2004 Dr. Paul has participated in hypobaric Mars analog habitats at the University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario, Canada. Additionally, Dr. Paul has worked on the Haughton Mars Project on Devon Island, in the Canadian High Arctic.

Dr. Paul has over 80 refereed journal publications and has received over $6M in extramural research funding over the past 10 years. Dr. Paul served as President of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (2017-2018); the UF Designated Representative to the Universities Space Research Association (2017); awarded for most compelling results on the International Space Station (awarded jointly with R.J. Ferl in 2015); has served on the NASA GeneLab, Science Council since 2013; served as the NASA GeneLab KSC Science Element Lead –  IPA (2013-2016); served on the Governing Board of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology (2005-2008 and 2013-present); Board Member of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (2012-present); Editor in Chief of the Gravitational and Space Biology Journal (2010-present); UF Graduate Coordinator, Program in Plant molecular and Cellular Biology 2013-present); the Lead IFAS Cohort Member (2012-2013); Board Member, ISS Standing review Board (2012-2013); Science Writing Academy Participant and UF/HOS representative to the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (2013).


Dr. Paul’s research interests focus on the regulation of plant gene expression in response to abiotic stress and extreme environments, with a particular interest in chromatin structure, genome organization, and epigenetic change. Venues associated with spaceflight provide an opportunity to explore plant genomic responses to an environment that is outside the evolutionary experience of terrestrial organisms.  This unique platform presents a background by which adaptive metabolisms can be observed as they are crafted to cope with a stress from a new environment; providing a window into the origins of adaptive processes.

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