Benjamin Blackman

Benjamin Blackman

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Dept of Plant and Microbial Biology
Phone
(510) 664-7807
Research Expertise and Interest
evolution, adaptation, domestication, phenotypic plasticity, flowering time, evo-devo, genomics, plant biology
Research Description

Benjamin Blackman is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Microbiol Bioilogy.  His research seeks to understand how plant development and its ability to respond to changing environmental conditions evolve. Using a combination of molecular, genomic and field approaches to connect genes to traits and ecology, his research group aims to address fundamental questions about the genetics of adaptation, the evolution of development, and mechanisms of gene-environment interaction in two plant groups, sunflower and monkeyflower. Their work in these systems currently focuses on the environmental and circadian regulation of solar tracking movements by sunflower stems and of floret maturation in sunflower disks, transcriptomic and ancient DNA studies of sunflower domestication, and the ecological genetics of adaptation to local climates along environmental gradients.

In the News

February 20, 2020

How the monkeyflower gets its spots

The intricate spotted patterns dappling the bright blooms of the monkeyflower plant may be a delight to humans, but they also serve a key function for the plant. These patterns act as “bee landing pads,” attracting nearby pollinators to the flower and signaling the best approach to access the sweet nectar inside.
August 8, 2016

How sunflowers follow the sun

Sunflowers not only pivot to face the sun as it moves across the sky during the day, but they also rotate 180 degrees during the night to greet the morning sun.

In the News

February 20, 2020

How the monkeyflower gets its spots

The intricate spotted patterns dappling the bright blooms of the monkeyflower plant may be a delight to humans, but they also serve a key function for the plant. These patterns act as “bee landing pads,” attracting nearby pollinators to the flower and signaling the best approach to access the sweet nectar inside.
August 8, 2016

How sunflowers follow the sun

Sunflowers not only pivot to face the sun as it moves across the sky during the day, but they also rotate 180 degrees during the night to greet the morning sun.

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