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Lisa Ainsworth's Laboratory


Chris Montes

Photo of Chris Montes

Ph.D Student, Department of Plant Biology

Curriculum Vitae




Ph.D, Plant Biology

Concentrations: Abiotic Stress Response, Physiology, and Genomics

University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

Thesis title: TBA

Bachelor of Arts, International Studies, 2009

University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana


Applied Multivariate Statistics (Spring 2016) – Teaching Assistant, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois.

Intro to Applied Statistics (Spring 2017) – Teaching Assistant (designed new laboratory section), Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois.


My research has been supported by a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant entitled “Improving soybean production in elevated ozone: selecting genotypes and understanding the mechanisms of tolerance in the field” (project number: ILLR-2009-02110). A recombinant inbred soybean population was screened for ozone sensitivity in the field at the SoyFACE Research Facility ( I am currently genotyping this population using genotype-by-sequencing, and will then perform quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses on the many phenotypes that were scored over the three years that the population was studied. Further examination of QTL with fine-mapping may follow for a more in-depth understanding of potential genes of interest. The results from this project will be used in marker-assisted selection (MAS) and aid in screening of the North American Soybean Germplasm for ozone tolerant cultivars to be used in future breeding programs.

I am also testing the use of a portable, full-range (VIS/NIR) spectroradiometer as a means to build partial least squares regression (PLSR) models to estimate difficult and time consuming phenotypes such as the maximum rate of carboxylation of Rubisco (Vc,max). This summer (2015), I will plant the RIL population in the field in order to take additional measurements and build a more robust model for Vc,max as well as several other phenotypes.

I have also been supported by and assisted in an NSF Plant Genome-funded project entitled “Genetic and genomic approaches to understand and improve maize responses to ozone” (project number: NSF PGR-1238030).


Montes CM (2015) Utilizing a biparental population to understand ozone tolerance and improve soybean productivity. Talk, Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit Group Meeting, Urbana, IL.

Montes CM (2016) Introduction to ground-based hyperspectral measurements. Invited talk, EPSCoR – Hyperspectral Workshop, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.

Montes CM (2016) Hands-on, real-world processing. Invited talk, EPSCoR – Hyperspectral Workshop, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.

Montes CM (2017) SoyFACE: A Platform for Improving Crop Response to Global Atmospheric Change. Talk. University of Illinois & Dupont-Pioneer Plant Sciences Symposium, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.


Yendrek CR, Tomaz T, Montes CM, Cao YY, Morse AM, Brown PJ, McIntyre LM, Leakey ADB, Ainsworth EA (2016) “High-throughput phenotyping of maize leaf physiology and biochemistry using hyperspectral reflectance.” Plant Physiology. DOI:10.1104/pp.16.01447.

Sanz-Sàez A, Koester RP, Rosenthal DM, Montes CM, Ort DR, Ainsworth EA (2017) “Leaf and canopy scale drivers of genotypic variation in soybean response to elevated carbon dioxide concentration.” Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.111/gcb.13678.

Yendrek CR, Erice G, Montes CM, Tomaz T, Sorgini C, Brown PJ, McIntyre L, Leakey ADB, Ainsworth EA (2017) “Elevated ozone accelerates loss of photosynthetic capacity in inbred and hybrid maize in a genotype-specific manner.” Plant Cell & Environment. DOI: 10.1111/pce.13075