Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Welcomes New Principal Investigator

New hire brings significant expertise in inflorescence evolution and development to the region.

St. Louis, MO, October 23, 2014 --( As expansion efforts continue to advance, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has hired Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., as a principal investigator and assistant member. Her research program will complement the Center’s groundbreaking work in plant cereal crops and bioenergy grasses.

Eveland’s research focuses on understanding how inflorescences, the structures that bear flowers and ultimately grain, are formed in cereal crops, the underlying gene networks that control variation in inflorescence architecture and how this translates to increased yield. Her research integrates computational and experimental approaches to develop predictive models for adaptation of cereal crops to changing environments and to define targets for enhancing yield potential.

Eveland’s work addresses important agricultural challenges by identifying key genes and pathways as control points for yield, linking developmental and stress networks, and translating across grasses, including orphan grain crops grown in developing countries that have seen little crop improvement.

"Colleagues at the Danforth Center are developing resources for systems-level studies in grasses, providing the ideal infrastructure for my research in developmental and comparative genomics of cereal crops,” said Eveland. “My program brings expertise in inflorescence development, which extends existing research at the Center aimed at improving yield traits in cereals. I am looking forward to exciting collaborations with an outstanding team of scientists here.”

Additionally, 3-4 scientific personnel will be recruited to her laboratory team over the next several months. After receiving her Ph.D. in plant molecular and cell biology in 2008 from the University of Florida-Gainesville, Eveland was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow in biological informatics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory from 2008-2010, where she later became a computational postdoctoral fellow from 2010-2014 before joining the Danforth Center.

She is a member of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Society of Plant Biologists, and the Maize Genetics Cooperative.

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research aims to feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates and Howard G. Buffett Foundations.

To keep up to date with Danforth Center’s current operations and areas of research, please visit,, featuring information on Center scientists, news, and the “Roots & Shoots” blog. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Melanie Bernds
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