Steve Long has served as Principal Investigator and Director of the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) Project since its inception in 2012.  He is the Ikenberry Endowed Chair of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. Steve's research has increased our understanding of how global climate change is affecting plants and how photosynthetic efficiency in crops may be improved to effect sustainable yield increases. His expertise ranges from plant molecular biology and mathematical modeling to in silico crop design and field analyses of the impacts of atmospheric change and transgenic modifications of photosynthesis on crop performance. Steve is also the director of Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane (ROGUE) He served as Deputy Director of the UC Berkeley-U Illinois-BP Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) until 2012. He is Founding and Chief Editor of Global Change Biology, of GCB Bioenergy and of in silico Plants. 

Steve was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2013 and as a Member of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America in 2019.  He has been recognized by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate as a highly cited researcher in Plant and Animal Sciences in every year from 2005 to 2021. His work has been published in more than 400 peer-reviewed journals, including Nature and Science. He has been recognized with many awards, including the Marsh Award for Climate Change Research from the British Ecological Society, the Kettering Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Innovation Award from the International Society for Photosynthesis Research and the Graduate Student Mentoring Award of the University of Illinois. He served as the Newton-Abraham Visiting Professor at Oxford University, UK, where he retains a Visiting Professorship. He has given briefings on food security and bioenergy to President George W. Bush at the White House, to the Vatican, and to Bill Gates. He earned his bachelor’s in agriculture from Reading University and his doctorate in plant sciences from Leeds University.

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Engineered increase in mesophyll conductance improves photosynthetic efficiency in field trial

Researchers have engineered mesophyll conductance, which plays a key role in photosynthesis and refers to the ease with which CO2 can move through a leaf’s cells before ultimately becoming sugar to feed the plant. Their results are featured in an upcoming paper in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.
26-Apr-2024 03:15:30 PM EDT

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