Sarah M. Assmann
Waller Professor of Biology
Sarah M. Assmann is the Waller Professor of Biology at the Eberly College of Science. She received her doctoral degree in biology from Stanford University, did postdoctoral research at University of California Riverside, and served as an assistant and associate professor at Harvard University before coming to Penn State.
Dr. Assmann is interested in studying the mechanisms by which plants sense abiotic environmental stresses and how they respond to and tolerate those stresses. She has a specific focus on drought and high temperature and the relationship that those factors have to agriculture. Drought is responsible for about 50% of crop loss every year worldwide. Heat stress, especially due to climate change, also has a significant impact on agricultural productivity.
Dr. Assmann’s lab is currently working to understand how environmental stresses regulate plant growth and productivity in the context of three research areas:
In addition to work in the lab, Dr. Assmann is also interested in community outreach. She has helped develop “Herbology” camps and programs for kids with the goal of increasing the accessibility of information about plant biology to the general public.