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Rebecca Bart, PhD

Associate Member, Danforth Plant Science Center, Co-director SINC Center

Becky Bart is an Associate Member and Principal Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Her research focuses on the complicated interactions between plants, microbes and the environment and encompasses disease-causing microbes such as bacteria and viruses and the less well understood multitude of beneficial microbes that associate with plants. Becky’s team applies computational, lab and field-based methods to dissect the complicated web of these interactions and to understand how they ultimately affect plant health and the sustainability of agriculture. She also serves as the Co-Director of the Subterranean Influences on Carbon and Nitrogen (SINC) Center. At the SINC Center, Becky and her colleagues are working to improve the sustainability of agriculture by developing technologies to track the flow of nitrogen and carbon across plant roots, discovering novel beneficial microbes, and understanding the genetic mechanisms that influence these interactions. Through this work they hope to decrease the use of nitrogen fertilizer by 12% without the loss of crop productivity. Reducing chemical nitrogen fertilizer in the U.S. by 12% would be equivalent to taking 10 million cars off the road.

Becky received a B.A. from Reed College, her PhD from the University of California, Davis, was a NIFA postdoctoral scholar at the University of California. She received the Innovation Award from the St. Louis Academy of Sciences.

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