Maciej Zwieniecki



Zwieniecki, an associate professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, specializes in whole plant physiology. He has a Ph.D. in forest ecology from Oregon State University, and joined UC Davis in 2012 from the Harvard University Arnold Arboretum.

Research interests:

Plant transport processes, biophysics, evolution of morphological traits, plant responses to abiotic stresses, using molecular tools in addressing questions relating to the biology of trees.

Brief overview:

My lab focuses on the interaction of trees with the environment and on the analysis of plant responses to abiotic environmental cues that include water, nutrients, and temperature. For example, our study on long-distance transport phenomena in trees (the movement of water, nutrients, and sugars within the tree’s vascular system) seeks to understand how plants optimize the use of resources to thrive in temporally and spatially variable environments (where different parts of the tree can experience different micro-environmental perturbations). This research will give us a better understanding of plant physiological processes and add predictive power to foresee changes in plant physiology in response to climate change. In California, this research can also help improve water and nutrient management practices in orchards.

Current projects:

  • Biophysical principles of xylem refilling
  • Evolution of leaf venation
  • Hydraulic properties of phloem and xylem
  • Plant response to abiotic stresses (water, temperature, nutrients)
  • Ecological physiology of trees


Updated August 2014


Plant Sciences:
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