The CUNY Plant Sciences PhD program, the most comprehensive of its kind in the New York area, is a long-standing joint program between CUNY and the New York Botanical Garden and consists of 40 doctoral faculty. Research areas include: biotechnology and metabolic engineering of plant biosynthetic pathways, systems biology, natural product biochemistry, medicinal plants and economic botany, signal transduction in plants, plant-microbial interactions, plant development, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, ecology, biodiversity and systematics.
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On Friday, October 16, 2015, the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEB) subprogram, together with the Plant Sciences (PS) subprogram, gathered for a weekend retreat at the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in Dingman’s Ferry, Pennsylvania.
The autumn leaves were on full display. There were “lightning talks,” poster sessions, and workshops, interspersed with hikes into the surrounding countryside. There was plenty of time for informal talk among faculty and students, and students used “community” yurts to socialize after hours. Professor Massimo Pigliucci gave a plenary talk Saturday night on the subject of Evolutionary Theory.
As the group made its way back to the big city, there was talk of newly-formed scientific collaborations and a commitment to sustain communication across these two subprograms in the CUNY Biology PhD Program.