Tim Setter is Professor and Chair in the Department of Crop and Soil Science, with joint membership in the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics. He currently collaborates with researchers at CIMMYT, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, on studies of drought tolerance of maize, and collaborates on cassava research with colleagues at national institutes in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda, and at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). He is a member of the Cornell Graduate Faculties in the Field of Crop and Soil Sciences and in Plant Biology.
My research seeks a better understanding of the underlying biology of drought stress response and better methods to screen breeding germplasm for improved responses to environmental stresses. In cassava and maize, we are comparing diverse lines for numerous traits related to stress response such as carbohydrate storage and remobilization, and accumulation of the stress hormone ABA. In maize, we focus on reproductive and kernel development and associated yield-determining processes. These studies seek to identify traits that could serve as targets for selection in breeding programs and QTL/marker assisted selection strategies. We use DNA microarrays to profile gene expression, collaborate with quantitative geneticists and breeders on mapping genetic loci, and seek to ways to improve crop cultivars so farmers in drought-prone areas of the world can achieve food security.
Field Crop Systems (CSS 2110) is an introduction to the principles of field-crop production of food, feed, fiber and bioenergy, emphasizing the most important crop species and their morphological and growth characteristics essential to environmental adaptation and response to management. Physiology And Ecology Of Crop Yield (CSS 4130): This course examines the biological processes involved in the conversion of solar energy into harvested plant products and the environmental constraints on crop productivity. Acclimation responses and genetic adaptation are examined for key environmental factors. Students gain an understanding of the underlying basis of crop performance in diverse environments and identify processes which are in need of improvement through improved genetics and management. Water Status In Plants And Soils (CSS 6080) is a lecture/lab/discussion course that explores the techniques and underlying principles for field appraisal of the status of water in plants and soil, including methods used in physiological and phenotyping studies. Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses (CSS 6100), which is co-taught by Dr. Vatamaniuk, is a study of the responses of plants to environmental stresses, including drought, high temperature, salinity, chilling, freezing, flooding-hypoxia, and toxic elements. Students learn the physiological and biochemical basis of injury and plant resistance mechanisms at the whole-plant, cellular, and molecular levels.