Daniel Schachtman, professor of agronomy and horticulture, is the new director of UNL’s Center for Biotechnology.
Schachtman’s appointment is effective July 1. He succeeds Deb Hamernik, associate dean of IANR’s Agricultural Research Division, who served as interim director since July 1, 2013.
The center director is responsible for developing and implementing a vision to support excellence in life sciences research, fostering interdisciplinary research collaborations in the life sciences and building a community of life science research excellence at UNL.
UNL’s Center for Biotechnology supports life sciences research campuswide. Its research core facilities provide services for microscopy, genome sequencing, bioinformatics, protein analysis, mass spectrometry and plant transformation. These core facilities are available to UNL scientists as well as others in academia, federal laboratories and the private sector.
A plant molecular physiologist, Schachtman’s research has centered on how plant roots respond and adapt to stressful conditions in soil. In addition to continuing his research on root response to low nutrients and drought at UNL, he also will focus on the interactions between plant roots and soil microbes and their impact on plant performance. His goal is to improve crop yields by modifying plant physiological processes and identifying microbes that are important for adaptation to stressful soil conditions. He will continue his research in addition to his new administrative duties. He also is a member of UNL’s Center for Plant Science Innovation.
Schachtman joined UNL’s faculty in early 2014. Previously, he worked as a scientist at Monsanto Co., as a principal investigator and full member at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and as a senior research scientist at Australia’s CSIRO. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics and master’s degree in plant physiology from the University of California, Davis and holds a doctorate in plant physiology and genetics from the Australian National University.