Ph.D. 1985. Duke University, Department of Botany, Durham, NC. Implications of atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment for the physiological ecology and distribution of two introduced woody vines, kudzu (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunb.).
M.S. 1983. Duke University, Department of Botany, Durham, NC. Growth and biomass allocation patterns of Lonicera japonica Thunb. and Lonicera sempervirens L. under CO2 enrichment.
A.B. 1979. Dartmouth College, Department of Biological Sciences, Hanover, NH.
2006+. Curator of the Herbarium. ULM Museum of Natural History.
1997+. Associate Professor (tenured). Department of Biology, The University of Louisiana at Monroe.
1992 - 1997. Assistant Professor. Department of Biology, The University of Louisiana at Monroe.
1987 - 1992. Research Associate. School of the Environment, Duke University. Effects of ozone and acid rain on loblolly pines (Pinus taeda) grown in open-top chambers. A project within the Forest Response Program, National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program.
1985 - 1987. Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow. Kobe University, Japan. Eighteen month fellowship to compare the ecology and utilization of two weedy vines, kudzu and Japanese honeysuckle, in their native habitats and in the U.S.A.
1982 - 1985. Research Assistant. Department of Botany, Duke University Phytotron. Vegetation response to increasing levels of atmospheric CO2.
1980 - 1982. Teaching Assistant. Department of Botany, Duke University.
Louisiana Academy of Sciences
Editor of the Proceedings
Ecological Society of America
American Society of Plant Biologists
Association of Southeastern Biologists
National Wildflower Research Center
Sasek, T.W., L. Urbatsch, S. Darwin, R. Miller, and A. Lasseigne. 2009-2012. CyberFlora Louisiana. National Science Foundation Biological Resource Collections Program. Three-year budget: $498,979. Project to digitize all 1.1 million herbarium specimens in Louisiana's 15 herbaria and make them available online in a combined statewide database.
Sasek, T.W. 2009. Plant Responses to Ozone Stress. Louisiana NSF EPSCoR Pilot Funding for New Research Initiatives Program. One-year budget: $10,927. Using real-time PCR to evaluate gene expression in ozone-stressed plants.
Sasek, T.W. 2005-2009. Wildflower seed bank for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Five-year subcontract budget: $208,000. Portion of a three-university consortium to produce wildflower seeds for highway beautification.
Smith, T. and T.W. Sasek. 2004-2005. Enhanced Teaching Facilities for Alternative Agriculture Enterprises [hydroponics and plant propagation]. Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund, Enhancement Program. One-year budget: $59,474.
Sasek, T.W. 2001-2004. Amelioration of ozone stress in plants by CO2 enrichment. Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund: Research & Development Program (Research Competitiveness). Three-year budget: $77,344.
Sasek, T.W., J.A. Knesel, J.W. Galle, and F.H. Groves. 1999-2001. A picture and a thousand words: Portfolio writing in introductory biology laboratory. National Science Foundation: Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement Program. Two-year budget: $97,531.
Sasek, T.W., A.M. Findley, and S.J. Hecht. 1999-2000. Fractionation equipment for cell and molecular biology. National Science Foundation: Multi-User Biology Equipment Program. One-year budget: $132,000. [ultra- and super-speed centrifuges, UV-Vis spectrophotometer, homogenizer]
Sasek, T.W. 1998-1999. Global change experimental facility for the environmental sciences. Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund: Enhancement Program. One-year budget: $44,000 (+ $95,000 in ULM renovations).
Knesel, J.A. and T.W. Sasek. 1997-1998. Multi-purpose, multimedia-enhanced physiology laboratory. Louisiana Educational Quality Support Fund: Enhancement Program. One-year budget: $74,500.
Sasek, T.W. 1996-1998. Video and image analysis activities for a plant physiology laboratory. National Science Foundation, Instrumentation and Laboratory Improve-ment Program. Two-year budget: $12,590.
Bounds, H.C. and T.W. Sasek. 1996-1997. Comparison of length-width ratios of rock-plant filters for individual residences. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. One-year budget: $28,473.
Thomas, Richard B. [West Virginia University] and T.W. Sasek. 1995-1998. Effects of global environmental change on endemic and exotic nitrogen-fixing trees of southern Florida. National Institute for Global Environmental Change (Department of Energy). Three-year budget: $358,000.
Sasek, T.W. and J.A. Knesel. 2004. Biology 121 laboratory upgrade: new computers and cameras. ULM Student Technology Access Plan: $30,212.
Sasek, T.W., J.A. Knesel, and R.D. Gilbert 2002. Biology 121 laboratory upgrade for MacOS X compatibility. ULM Student Technology Access Plan: $4,267.
Knesel, J.A. and T.W. Sasek. 2001. Upgrade of multi-purpose, multimedia-supported physiology laboratory. ULM Student Technology Access Plan: $9,300.
Sasek, T.W. 1999. Garrett greenhouse renovations in support of global change research. Northeast Louisiana University Development Grants. One-year budget: $2,550.
Sasek, T.W. 1994-1995. Comparison of introduced kudzu vine stands in the U.S. with native stands in Japan. Northeast Louisiana University Research Council. One-year budget: $3,800.
Poudel, D.D., S. Guedry, T. Sasek, M. Simon, J. Foret, D. Wollard, C. Anzalone, and D. Bell. 2008. Wildflower seed bank, highway beautification, and tourism promotion in Louisiana. Journal of the Louisiana State Horticulture Society 3:21-47.
Sasek, T.W. and G. Illangasinghe. In preparation. Variability in Arabidopsis thaliana seed size characteristics.
Sasek, T.W. and G. Illangasinghe. In preparation. Phenotypic variability in homogeneous and heterogeneous Arabidopsis thaliana accessions.
Bounds, H.B., J. Collins, Z. Liu, Z. Qin and T.W. Sasek. 1998. Effects of length-width ratio and stress on rock-plant filter operation. Small Flows Journal 4:4-14.
Tsugawa, H., Y. Tsuchida, T.W. Sasek, and N. Tanaka. In press. Effects of associated Rosa multiflora Thunb. on the canopy structure of kudzu-vine (Pueraria lobata Ohwi). Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science.
Tsugawa, H., Y. Itano, T.W. Sasek, D. Hirose, T. Takahashi, and K. Nishikawa. In press. The structure of overwintering aboveground parts and the formation of root systems of individual plants which constitute a natural kudzu (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) population, established in a field left abandoned for about 15 years. Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science.
Sasek, T.W. and R.B. Flagler. 1995. Physiological and biochemical effects of air pollutants on southern pines. Pages 415-453 in S. Fox and R.A. Mickler (eds.), Impact of Air Pollutants on Southern Pine Forests, Ecological Studies Volume 118. Springer-Verlag, New York.
Dizengremel, P., T.W. Sasek, K.J. Brown, and C.J. Richardson. 1994. Ozone-induced changes in primary carbon metabolism enzymes of loblolly pine needles. Journal of Plant Physiology 144: 300-306.
Tsugawa, H., N. Kawasaki, T.W. Sasek, T. Takahashi, K. Yamamoto, and K. Nishikawa. 1993. Dry matter production and leaf area expansion of the current year's canopy in a natural kudzu (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) stand, established in a field left abandoned for about 15 years. Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science 38: 440-452.
Tsugawa, H., N. Kawasaki, T.W. Sasek, D. Hirose, T. Takahashi, K. Yamamoto, and K. Nishikawa. 1993. Changes in the network of a natural kudzu (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) stand, established in a field left abandoned for about 15 years, during the period of current year's foliage development. Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science 39: 246-256.
Richardson, C.J., T.W. Sasek, E.A. Fendick and L.W. Kress. 1992. Ozone exposure-response relationships for photosynthesis in genetic strains of loblolly pine seedlings. Forest Ecology and Management 51:163-178.
Condon, M.A., T.W. Sasek, and B.R. Strain. 1992. Allocation patterns in two tropical vines in response to elevated atmospheric CO2. Functional Ecology 6: 680-685.
Richardson, C.J., T.W. Sasek, and E.A. Fendick. 1992. Implications of physiological responses to chronic air pollution for forest decline in the southeastern United States. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 11: 1105-1114.
Sasek, T.W. and C.J. Richardson. 1992. The dose-response approach for characterizing the effects of near-ambient ozone concentrations on photosynthesis. Pages 257-272 in R.B. Flagler (ed.), The Response of Southern Commercial Forests to Air Pollution, Transactions of the Air & Waste Management Association, No. 21. Pittsburgh, PA.
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, and N. Kosaka. 1992. Restored herbal medicine kudzu (Pueraria radix). Food Industry 35: 67-74.
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, T. Takahashi, and K. Nishikawa. 1992. Demographic characteristics of overwintering stems and root systems which constitute a network in natural kudzu (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) stands. Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science 38: 80-89.
Sasek, T.W. and B.R. Strain. 1991. Effects of carbon dioxide enrichment on the growth and morphology of an introduced and a native honeysuckle vine species. American Journal of Botany 78: 69-75.
Sasek, T.W., C.J. Richardson, E.A. Fendick, S.R. Bevington, and L.W. Kress. 1991. Carryover effects of acid rain and ozone on the physiology of multiple flushes of loblolly pine seedlings. Forest Science 37: 1078-1098.
Tsugawa, H. and T.W. Sasek. 1991. Restoration of a town through the revival of kudzu-powder manufacture. Food Industry 34: 68-76. [In Japanese]
Tsugawa, H. and T.W. Sasek. 1991. A proposal for preventing desertification- Encouragement of afforestation by the use of kudzu-vine. Journal of the Japan-China Association on Economy and Trade No. 214: 4-12. [In Japanese]
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, and S. Fujii. 1991. Unutilized starch resource- Pueraria thomsoni Benth. Food Industry 34: 70-75. [In Japanese]
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, and K. Nishikawa. 1991. Terrestrial biomass resources in Japan. Economic Botany 45: 309-317.
Sasek, T.W. and B.R. Strain. 1990. Implications of atmospheric CO2 enrichment and climatic change for the distribution of two introduced vines in the U.S.A. Climatic Change 16: 31-51.
Richardson, C.J., T.W. Sasek, and R.T. Di Giulio. 1990. Use of physiological and biochemical markers for assessing air pollution stress in trees. Pages 143-155 in W. Wang, J.W. Gorsuch, and W.R. Lower (eds.), Plants for Toxicity Assessment, ASTM STP 1091. American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia.
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, N. Komatsu, and K. Nishikawa. 1990. Development of prostrate stems and root systems of first year stands of kudzu-vine (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) differing in spacing. Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science 36: 9-19.
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, N. Komatsu, and K. Nishikawa. 1990. Stems and root systems just after the first overwintering of kudzu (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) stands differing in spacing. Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science 36: 99-106.
Sasek, T.W. and B.R. Strain. 1989. Effects of carbon dioxide enrichment on the expansion and size of kudzu (Pueraria lobata) leaves. Weed Science 37: 23-28.
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, N. Komatsu, M. Tange, and K. Nishikawa. 1989. Seasonal changes in dry matter production and leaf area expansion of first year stands of kudzu-vine (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) differing in spacing. Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science 35: 193-205.
Sasek, T.W. and C.J. Richardson. 1989. Effects of chronic doses of ozone on loblolly pine: Photosynthetic characteristics in the third year. Forest Science 35: 745-755.
Sasek, T.W. and B.R. Strain. 1988. Effects of carbon dioxide enrichment on the growth and morphology of kudzu (Pueraria lobata). Weed Science 36: 28-36.
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, M. Tange, and K. Nishikawa. 1988. The fate of buds of kudzu-vine (Pueraria lobata Ohwi). Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science 33: 321-331.
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, and S. Fujii. 1988. The origin of the starch food industry: Kudzu starch- Its history, manufacture, properties, and utilization. Food Industry 31: 18-50. [In Japanese]
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, M. Tange, and K. Nishikawa. 1987. Studies on dry matter production and leaf area expansion of kudzu-vine (Pueraria lobata Ohwi). III. The emergence of current year's stems from overwintering stems. Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science 32: 337-347.
Sasek, T.W., E.H. DeLucia, and B.R. Strain. 1985. Reversibility of photosynthetic inhibition in cotton after long-term exposure to elevated CO2 concentrations. Plant Physiology 78: 619-622.
DeLucia, E.H., T.W. Sasek, and B.R. Strain. 1985. Photosynthetic inhibition after long-term exposure to elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis Research 7: 175-184.
Book Chapters and Reports
Sasek, T.W., J.A. Knesel, and D. Bell. 2005. Principles of Biology I: Laboratory Manual, 3rd Edition. Hayden-McNeil Publishers, Plymouth, MI.
Sasek, T.W., J.A. Knesel, and R.D. Gilbert. 2003. Principles of Biology I: Laboratory Manual. Hayden-McNeil Publishers, Plymouth, MI. [2nd edition]
Sasek, T.W. and J.A. Knesel. 2001. Principles of Biology I: Laboratory Manual. Hayden-McNeil Publishers, Plymouth, MI. 86 pp.
Tsugawa, H., Y. Hori, and T.W. Sasek. 1995. Spatial distribution of parent stumps and rooted nodes just after the first overwintering of kudzu (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) stands differing in spacing. Science Reports of Faculty of Agriculture, Kobe University 21: 121-124.
Tsugawa, H., T. Shimizu, T.W. Sasek, and K. Nishikawa. 1992. The climbing strategy of kudzu-vine (Pueraria lobata Ohwi). I. Comparisons of branching behavior, and dry matter and leaf area production between staked and non-staked kudzu plants. Science Reports of Faculty of Agriculture, Kobe University 20: 1-6.
Richardson, C.J. and T.W. Sasek. 1988. Diagnostic gas exchange for analyzing functional limitations for branches. Pages 51-74 in W.E. Winner and L.B. Phelps (eds.), Proceedings of a workshop on "Response of trees to air pollution: The role of branch studies." Environmental Protection Agency and U.S.D.A. Forest Service.
Richardson, C.J. and T.W. Sasek. 1988. Response of loblolly pine to chronic doses of ozone: Diagnostic gas exchange analysis in the third growing season. National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI).
Tsugawa, H. and T.W. Sasek. 1988. Kudzu (Pueraria lobata Ohwi) in America. Pages 181-193 in N. Yano (ed.), Japanese Vegetation- Ecology of Invasion and Disturbance. Tokai University Press, Tokyo. [In Japanese]
Tsugawa, H., T.W. Sasek, M. Tange, and K. Nishikawa. 1987. A scarification method with a household mixer for kudzu seed (Pueraria lobata Ohwi). Science Reports of Faculty of Agriculture, Kobe University 17: 167-170.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is funding a 5-year project to develop a seed bank of Louisiana wildflowers to be used for roadside plantings and beautification of welcome centers and rest stops. Three universities (ULL, ULM, and SLU) are responsible for three major regions in the state. Seeds are being collected from natural populations around the state and then propagated in cultivated plots. Seeds will be stored in a seed bank facility at ULL. At ULM, we are in the process of collecting seeds from a variety of species to determine which are suitable for mass production. Field plots will be established this fall. More information is available at this website.
I am exploring various mechanistic explanations for the relative sensitivity/resistance of particular genotypes to ozone and CO2 interactions in physiological studies. These genetically-controlled, physiological mechanisms involve factors such as:
- the rate of O3 uptake because of differences in stomatal conductance or morphology;
- antioxidant defenses in the cell wall area that can counteract low ozone fluxes; and/or
- adjusted flows through the carbon metabolism pathways that control general repair and maintenance processes.
The amelioration of ozone stress by elevated CO2 concentrations may be related to all of these mechanisms. An increase in CO2 concentration can result in an approximately 40% decrease in stomatal conductance and a 30 to 50% increase in photosynthesis, net carbon fixation, and biomass accumulation. With decreased stomatal conductance, decreased ozone flux into the leaves significantly decreases the degree of oxidant damage, especially from potentially high fluxes early in a leaf's functional lifespan when conductance is highest. In addition, CO2 enrichment increases the supply of photosynthates and energy that could be allocated to antioxidant defenses and other biosynthetic pathways that contribute to repair of oxidant damage.
Research on plant responses to environmental stress in controlled environments has traditionally concentrated on determining average responses. To improve the statistical power of these kinds of experimental designs, replicated and blocked designs may use uniform seed sources, genetic families, or even cloned plant material so that variation remains small. Unfortunately, information about natural variation is lost. I am interested in gathering more realistic information about plant responses to stress by increasing sample sizes and determining frequency distributions of response rather than just average responses. From an evolutionary perspective, the tails of frequency distributions can be especially important during periods of directional selection.
Using Arabidopsis thaliana plants - a small, fast-growing model organism - large numbers of plants can be grown in small spaces. Natural populations of Arabidopsis have been sampled from around the world and placed into seed banks. Most seed bank accessions were collected from one or a few original plants, and then bulk propagated from about 30 to 50 of the donated seeds. Consequently, they may be relatively homogeneous genetically. Some accessions, though, were originally collected from many plants (n=25-150) and then bulk propagated; they may be more heterogeneous genetically. I have been studying these different accessions to characterize patterns of variability.
In my graduate work, I studied the growth and physiology of the introduced vines kudzu and Japanese honeysuckle in comparison to other less invasive native vine species. My primary interest was in direct physiological responses to CO2 enrichment such as photosynthesis, down-regulation from starch accumulation, and water relations. However, I also considered possible indirect effects of global climate change on the vines' future geographic spread in the U.S.
After completing my dissertation, I was able to spend a year and a half in Japan on a Fulbright fellowship to study kudzu and Japanese honeysuckle more thoroughly in their native habitats. I worked with Dr. Hyoe Tsugawa at Kobe University, a leading expert on the growth and morphology of kudzu in Japan. I hope to conduct some comparative studies of kudzu's growth patterns in Japan versus the U.S. He has a vast amount of morphological observations of kudzu's growth in different situations. Parallel studies in the U.S. would provide invaluable information that has never been gathered before and perhaps would lead to new insights into the invasibility of ecosystems by introduced species.
Biology 101 (non-majors only). The Living World. 3 cr. Basic scientific and biological principles with an emphasis on the structure and processes of organisms. The course also includes a survey of the major types of living organisms. No prerequisite.
Biology 120 (majors). Principles of Biology I. 3 cr. A course designed for those students majoring in a science related field. Course content deals with scientific methodology, DNA and the genetic code, cell structure, cell development, evolution, and ecology.
Biology 121 (majors). Principles of Biology I Laboratory. 1 cr. A laboratory designed to accompany 120.
Biology 201 (majors and non-majors). Environmental Science. 3 cr. Exploration of contemporary issues in environmental science. Man's interaction with the Earth's biological and physical resources. Topics include global warming, biodiversity, conservation, pollution, wetlands, sustainable agriculture, and population growth. Prerequisites: An introductory biology course or approval of department head.
Biology 204 (majors). Plant Diversity. 3 cr. The characteristics and reproduction of algae, fungi, bryophytes, ferns and fern allies, and seed plants. Vascular plants covered in greater detail. The relationships of these groups of plants to each other and to man is emphasized. Ecology and economic botany is woven throughout the study of diversity and distribution of these plants. Prerequisites: Biology 122, 123.
Biology 320 (majors). Conservation Biology. 3 cr. A course dealing with biodiversity and its conservation. Topics include biodiversity, habitat loss, the effects of habitat changes on populations and the design and establishment of reserves. Prerequisites: Biology 122,123.
Biology 412 (undergraduates and graduates). Plant Physiology. 4 cr. Lecture and accompanying laboratory present an introduction to the chemical and physical processes occuring in plants. Prerequisites: Biology 204; Chemistry 108, 111.
Biology 446 (undergraduates and graduates). Economic Botany. 3 cr. The study of applied uses of plants as food, fibers, lumber, drugs, and related commodities. Prerequisite: 204.
Biology 513 (graduates only). Physiological Ecology. 3 cr. The physiological mechanisms plants and animals use to respond to their environment, including regulation, behavior, acclimation, plasticity, and adaptation.
Biology 524 (graduates only). Biogeography. 3 cr. A study of the dynamics of biological patterns and processes over broad geographic and time scales. Prerequisites: Biology 303, 304 or approval of instructor.
BIOL 204 - Plant Diversity
BIOL 120-02 - Principles of Biology I
BIOL 524 - Biogeography
BIOL 120 - Principles of Biology I
BIOL 201 - Environmental Science
BIOL 440 - Taxonomy of the Vascular Plants