Welcome to the Assmann Lab!

The Assmann lab is a very friendly place, with so many happy and smiley researchers! With a great location on campus, there's just no limit to the amount of engaging fun you could have at this place. Above is the lab in mid 2016.

Enjoy an idyllic summer wonderland in scenic State College, PA.

The Assmann Lab delves into the holiday spirit with a sporty bout of festive Secret Santa gift exchange!

Cathy Vandenberg celebrates 7 amazing years of working in the Lab! If you too want an officially licensed Penn State Fidgit-Spinner™, start working today!

Hey look at all this excitement! All successful defenses will be rewarded with at least one (1) luncheon for your lab!

Eat like a king, all while researching at a world class laboratory!

Magical Life in the Muggle World

Through an NSF-supplement to Dr. Assmann's Arabidopsis 2010 grant and an NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) supplement for the support of Ms. Susan Braun, a high school science educator from a local school district, the curriculum was developed for a one week plant science summer camp, 'Magical Life in the Muggle World,' for rising fourth through eighth graders, both day students and residential campers (see the science camps website here).

The curriculum of this camp captures the attention of young people by utilizing the theme of 'Herbology' from the beloved series of Harry Potter books by author J.K. Rowling. The 'Principles of Plant Biology' forms the scientific basis for the 5 day camp. A few examples of the many curricular activities are: bioassays of seed germination under acidic and saline conditions, experiments using seedlings to demonstrate phototropism and gravitropism, investigations of floral anatomy, a seed dispersal contest with seeds 'designed' by the campers, and microscopic observations of osmosis and stomatal function.

To keep the students engaged via recurrent references to the Harry Potter theme, the curriculum also includes such items as a scavenger hunt for carnivorous and useful plants in the 'enchanted' plant diversity rooms of the Biology Department greenhouse, explorations of the uses of different types of wood as students design their own magic wands, concoction of 'magic' potions with cabbage juice and by chlorophyll extraction, and observation of magical 'glow in the dark' plants (i.e. cacao flowers transformed with GFP).