Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of Georgia
  • B.S., University of Massachusetts

Research Interests

My research interests focus on molecular and cellular aspects of plant growth and development. I am currently studying the interaction between light and hormones on photomorphogenic development in the model systems Ceratopteris richardii and Arabidopsis thaliana. I am also engaged in pedagogical research on the use of inquiry based laboratory procedures and active-learning techniques in the biological sciences.

Courses Taught

  • 150 Years of Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Bucknell in London course)
  • Foundation Seminar - The Times They are a Changin' (New for Fall 2008)
  • Biology 150 - Plants, People, and the Environment (Non-majors)
  • Biology 206 - Organismal Biology
  • Biology 316 - Plant Growth and Development

Selected Publications

Spiro M.D. and Knisely K.I. 2008 Alternation of generations and experimental design: a guided-inquiry lab exploring the nature of the her 1 developmental mutant of Ceratopteris richardii (C-fern). CBE-Life Sciences Education. 7(1), 82-88.

Spiro M.D., B. Torabi, and C.N. Cornell. 2004 Cytokinins induce photomorphogenic development in dark-grown gametophytes of Ceratopteris richardii. Plant and Cell Physiology 45(9), 1252-1260.

Spiro M.D., J.F. Bowers, and D.C. Cosgrove. 2002. A Comparison of Oligogalacturonide- and Auxin-Induced Extracellular Alkalinization and Growth Responses in Roots of Intact Cucumber Seedlings. Plant Physiology 130, 895-303.

Mathieu Y., J. Guern, M.D. Spiro, M.A. O Neill, K. A. Kates, A.G. Darvill and P. Albersheim. 1998. The transient nature of the oligogalacturonide-induced membrane responses of tobacco cells is not correlated with fragmentation of the oligogalacturonides. Plant Journal 16, 305-311.

Spiro M.D., B.L. Ridley, S. Eberhard, K.A. Kates, Y. Mathieu, M.A. O Neill, D. Mohnen, J. Guern, A.G. Darvill and P. Albersheim. 1998. Biological activity of reducing-end derivatized oligogalacturonides in tobacco tissue cultures. Plant Physiology 116, 1289-1298.

Spiro, M.D., B.L. Ridley, J. Glushka, A.G. Darvill and P. Albersheim. 1996. Synthesis and characterization of tyramine-derivatized 1,4-linked a-D-oligogalacturonides. Carbohydr. Res. 290:147-157.

Ridley, B.L., M.D. Spiro, J. Glushka, P. Albersheim and A.G. Darvill. 1996. A Method for Biotin Labeling of Biologically Active Oligogalacturonides Using a Chemically Stable Hydrazide Linkage. Anal. Biochem. 249, 10-19.

Spiro, M.D., K.A. Kates, A.G. Koller, M.A. O Neill, P. Albersheim, and A. Darvill. 1993. Purification and characterization of biologically active 1,4-linked a-D-oligogalacturonides after partial digestion of polyglacturonic acid with endopolygalacturonase. Carbohydr. Res. 247:9-20.

Mathieu, Y., A. Kurkdijan, H. Xia, J. Guern, A. Koller, M. Spiro, M. O Neill, P. Albersheim, and A. Darvill. 1991. Membrane responses induced by oligogalacturonides in suspension-cultured tobacco cells. Plant. J. 1:333-343.

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