Steve Long| | University of Illinois
TERRA-MEPP Director Steve Long is the Ikenberry Endowed Chair of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He is also a Distinguished Professor of Crop Sciences at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. Steve's research has increased our understanding of how global climate change is affecting plants and is helping to inform approaches to increase crop yields by improving the efficiency of photosynthesis. His expertise ranges from plant molecular biology to in silico crop design and field analyses of the impacts of atmospheric change on crops.
Steve served as deputy director of the BP-funded Energy Biosciences Institute(EBI) until 2012 and led Plants Engineered to Replace Oil in Sugarcane (PETROSS). Today he is the director of Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency and Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane. He is also a key member of Water Efficient Sorghum Technologies(WEST). He has published papers in more than 300 peer-reviewed journals, including Nature and Science. His work has also been acknowledged with many awards, including the Marsh Award for Climate Change Research from the British Ecological Society, the Kettering Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists, and the Innovation Award of the International Society for Photosynthesis Research. He has given briefings on food security and bioenergy to the U.S. president, the Vatican, and to Bill Gates. Steve was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2013, and has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as a highly cited researcher in the field of plant and animal science every year since 2005. He earned his bachelor’s in agriculture from Reading University and his doctorate in plant sciences from Leeds University.