Rachel Carson College Faculty Fellows

Sikina Jinnah

Sikina Jinnah is Rachel Carson College's new faculty chair!

The Chair of the Faculty is an Academic Senate member, other than the Provost, who is elected by the college Faculty to serve a two year term, and will serve as a member of the Executive Committee.

Dr. Jinnah is an Associate Professor in the Politics Department, an affiliated faculty member in the Environmental Studies Department, and a 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Her research focuses on the shifting locations of power and influence in global environmental governance, and in particular the role of transnational actors in environmental decision-making. Her most recent projects examine how key norms in global climate politics shape power relations, the role of U.S. preferential trade agreements in shaping environmental policy in trading partner nations, and the politics of climate engineering governance. 

Jarmila Pittermann
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Physical & Biological Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department
  • Affiliations Rachel Carson College
  • Phone
    831-459-1782
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • CSC Coastal Biology Building, 274
    • Thimann 387
  • Office Hours Winter: Tuesday 12-2pm (please confirm appointment by email)
  • Mail Stop CBB/EE Biology
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Plant Sciences, Ecology, Biology, Climate Change, Plant Biology
  • Courses Plant Physiology, Structure and Function Bio 135; Plants and Society Bio 118

Research Interests

I’m broadly interested in plant structure and function, and the manner in which plants respond to climatic perturbation. I am especially interested in water transport and how plants balance the need to efficiently supply water to the leaves while maintaining appropriate resilience to drought stress. Critical to our understanding of plant response to both past, current and future climate change, this basic safety-efficiency tradeoff has shaped in large part, the evolution of plant form and function and it constrains the physiological thresholds that shape extant plant biogeography. My work combines field work with experimental studies, and includes extensive lab work and as well as detailed anatomical analyses of cell structure.

My current projects include:

1. the evolutionary ecophysiology of seedless vascular plants such as ferns and lycopods

2. the short- and long-term drought response of redwood understory vegetation

3. Cenozoic climate change, and how it shaped the evolution of vascular plants

4. the evolution of xylem, including xylem allometry in seedless vascular plants

5. the ultrastructural aspects of plant biomechanics

I encourage my students to explore their own interests within the broad context of plant ecophysiology.

Biography, Education and Training

Hon. B. Arts and Science, McMaster University, Canada

M.Sc., University of Toronto, Canada

Ph.D., University of Utah

Post-doctorate, Miller Institute for Basic Research, University of California, Berkeley

Honors, Awards and Grants

Kavli Research Fellow 2014

Miller Institute of Basic Research 2006-2008 (University of California, Berkeley)

Riser Award 2005 (University of Utah)

National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Fellow 2000-2003 (University of Utah)

 

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Pittermann J, Wilson JP, Brodribb TJ. 2016. The role of water transport in plant diversification. in The Encylopedia of Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 4, Kliman R, ed. Elsevier Inc. p. 358-365. 

Baer A, Wheeler J, Pittermann J. 2016. Not dead yet: the seasonal water relations of perennial ferns during California's exceptional drought. New Phytologist. 210:122-132.

Brodersen CR, Jansen S, Choat B, Rico C, Pittermann J.  2014. Cavitation resistance in seedless vascular plants: the structure and function of interconduit pit membranes. Plant Physiology, 165:895-904.

Rico C., PittermannJ., Polley W., Fay P., Espinwall M. 2013.  The effect of variable CO2 on the hydraulic properties of Helianthus annuus.  New Phytologist.  199:956-965.

Pittermann J., Stuart S.A., Dawson T.E., Moreau A. 2012. Cenozoic climate change shaped the evolutionary ecophysiology of the Cupressaceae conifers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 109:9647-9652.