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Department of Plant Sciences


Research Group

Crop Breeding Technologies



I study plant responses to abiotic stresses using molecular, biochemical, and physiological approaches. My interest in research started when I conducted undergraduate thesis for my bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). Afterwards, I worked as a Researcher at the International Rice Research Institute while pursuing a master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from UPLB. I then moved to Germany and obtained my doctoral degree from the University of Potsdam and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, where I studied the effects of combined drought and heat stress on rice. I then did postdoctoral research on plant natural products and elevated temperature impacts in blueberry at Auburn University in the US. In Natasha Yelina’s lab, I will be investigating reproductive heat tolerance with a focus on meiosis in cowpea and Arabidopsis.



Lawas LMF, Kamileen MO, Buell CR, O’Connor SE, Leisner CP (2023) Transcriptome-based identification and functional characterization of iridoid synthase involved in monotropein biosynthesis in blueberry. Plant Direct 7: e512,

Edger PP, Iorizzo M, Bassil NV, Benevenuto J, Ferrão LFV, Giongo L, Hummer K, Lawas LMF, Leisner CP, Li C, et al. (2022) There and back again; historical perspective and future directions for Vaccinium breeding and research studies. Hortic Res 9: uhac083, 

Desai JS, Lawas LMF, Valente AM, Leman AR, Grinevich DO, Jagadish SVK, Doherty CJ (2021) Warm nights disrupt global transcriptional rhythms in field-grown rice panicles. P Natl Acad Sci USA 118: e2025899118,

Schaarschmidt S, Lawas LMF, Kopka J, Jagadish SVK, Zuther E (2021) Physiological and molecular attributes contribute to high night temperature tolerance in cereals. Plant, Cell Environ 44: 2034–2048, 

Schaarschmidt S, Fischer A, Lawas LMF, Alam R, Septiningsih EM, Bailey-Serres J, Jagadish SVK, Huettel B, Hincha DK, Zuther E (2020) Utilizing PacBio Iso-seq for novel transcript and gene discovery of abiotic stress responses in Oryza sativa L. Int J Mol Sci 21: 8148, 

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr Lovely Mae Lawas

Contact Details

Email address: 
Crop Science Centre
Lawrence Weaver Road
01223 342200