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William Louis Crepet
As Department Chair I am particularly interested in developing departmental preeminence in basic plant biology at a time when progress in basic plant biology research is important to critical societal needs including: the development of strategic responses to the effects of climatic change in vital areas including biodiversity maintenance and agriculture; the development of biomedicinals, and investigations of plant based energy sources. My immediate goal has been to build strength in various facets of plant molecular biology including plant biochemistry with complementary strength in the area of plant systematics including theory and molecular systematics. These emphases will be enhanced by another immediate priority, cultivating the kind of research relationships with other Cornell administrative units that will promote and enhance our research eminence by allowing the Department to enter exciting and important areas of research that would be difficult to engage in in the absence of such collaborations or where synergies derived from these collaborations materially improve the Department's and University's positions in these key areas of research.
With respect to my own research, my focus is on establishing a dependable fossil record for the flowering plants that includes reliably identified floral evidence. This approach is unique and informative due to the nature of flowers, the phylogenetic significance of their characters and adaptive significance. Such a record has implications for climate change, molecular evolution, hyper radiations characteristic of the angiosperms and for evaluating ecological-evolutionary hypotheses invoked to explain angiosperm dominance of modern ecosystems. Such research has implications for systematics/systematics methodologies and for the evaluation of molecular clock based timing models.
- Plant Biology