The Boss

Dr. Sarah Assmann

Principal Investigator

Address: Department of Biology
208 Mueller Lab
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802
Phone:(814) 863-9579
Email:sma3 'at' psu 'dot' edu
Office:366A North Frear

Sarah M. Assmann is the Waller Professor of Biology in the Eberly College of Science at Penn State. She received her B.A. degree in Biology from William's College and her doctoral degree in Biology from Stanford University. She conducted 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. Her research 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, which is increasing 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 cell biology and physiology in the context of three research areas:

Dr. Assmann currently teaches BIOL240M: Function and Development of Organisms and co-ordinates a graduate plant biology course in plant communication and growth regulation. In addition to research and teaching, Dr. Assmann is also interested in community outreach. She has helped to develop 'Herbology' camps and programs for kids with the goal of increasing the accessibility of information about plant biology to the general public.