Peggy G. Lemaux, Ph.D.
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
University of California, Berkeley
Lemaux laboratory efforts focus on using genetic engineering, editing and other genomic technologies to understand and improve cereal crops, like wheat, barley, rice and sorghum. Applied projects have included development of faster germinating barley with improved starch characteristics, a hypoallergenic wheat variety, a pre-harvest sprouting tolerant wheat variety, nutritionally enhanced sorghum and rice with improved ability to withstand low potassium soils. None of these made it out of the laboratory. Presently she is the lead of a $12.3M DOE-sponsored project to use a number of ‘omics strategies in sorghum and in its microbiome to study drought tolerance in the field.
Outreach to the public, media, regulators and K-14 audiences focuses on issues related to plants, agriculture, food production and the impact of new technologies, like genomics, genetic engineering and genome editing, on agriculture. She has written and edited review articles on genetic engineering, created informational videos, educational displays, an award-winning website, and afterschool curricula. She is currently involved in outreach to citrus growers on approaches to combat the economically devastating, greening disease. She is also the lead PI for CLEAR (Communication, Literacy and Education in Agricultural Research), a project aimed at encouraging undergrads, grads and postdocs to improve their skills in communicating about science with the public.
Lemaux is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Agronomy and the American Society of Plant Biologists. She received the Hoagland award from ASPB and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of In Vitro Biology. She recently served as ASPB President from 2012-2013.