Alistair Rogers

Alistair Rogers to Lead Berkeley Lab's Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division

Long Lab Alum Alistair Rogers has been selected to serve as the director for the Climate and Ecosystem Science Division in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Steve Long speaking on a stage with the word TED behind him

In TED Talk, Long describes three changes to photosynthesis, each boosting crop yields 20% or more

The full recording of RIPE Director Steve Long’s TED Talk, “Can we hack photosynthesis to feed the world,” about how three changes to photosynthesis could help reduce food insecurity and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is now available.

Collage of photos with Steve Long (left), Lisa Ainsworth (middle) and Tracy Lawson (right)

Three RIPE researchers recognized on 2023 ‘Highly Cited’ list

A trio of researchers for the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) Project, including Director Steve Long, have been named to the 2023 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes research scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated exceptional influence – reflected through their publication of multiple papers frequently cited by their peers during the last decade. RIPE’s Steve Long, Lisa Ainsworth, and Tracy Lawson were all selected to this year’s list.

Steve Long in ceremonial robes

Long receives honorary doctorate from University of Essex

“I have been lucky enough to receive a few awards throughout my career, but none is more special to me than this.” - Steve Long during his commencement address to the summer class of 2023 from the University of Essex. Long was presented with an honorary doctorate as part of the ceremony.

Lisa Ainsworth (Left), Steve Long (Middle), Don Ort (Right)

Bill and Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations extends RIPE funding with $34M grant

Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations has awarded a grant of $34 million to the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency project.

Crop growth scaled

Carbon speeds crop growth but often for little gain

While commercial growers of plants have used increased CO2 to boost production, 30 years’ worth of data from Free-Air Concentration Enrichment facilities shows that yield gains are counteracted by other climate change conditions.

By: Paul Brown | Climate News Network 

Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) is an international research project that is engineering crops to be more productive by improving photosynthesis.

Green Genes: Agronomists are engineering DNA to save some foods from extinction

Climate change feels like an unprecedented global challenge. But the truth is, humanity has been here before — approximately 11,000 years ago. That’s when the last Ice Age ended.

By: Matt Alderton | USA Today 


Sorghum leaf illuminated by the sun.

Soybeans and other crops are hurting for light, but this research fights shadows

Scientists at RIPE have developed a new mathematical computer model to understand and measure how much soybean yield is lost due to light fluctuations on cloudy versus sunny days. 

By: Jeff Kart | Forbes

isP logo

in silico Plants launches today!

in silico Plants is a peer-reviewed, open access journal publishing research pertaining to all aspects of plant modelling.

By: Rachel Shekar | in silico Plants

Florescence chamber

Newly discovered cold-tolerant plants could promote clean bioenergy

The new M. sacchariflorus plants discovered in Siberia may be even better at turning up production of these enzymes at low temperature.

By: Charles Pignon | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

soybean field

RIPE project aims to help farmers grow more with less

Lab breakthroughs could lead to greater crop production, prepare for future population growth.

By: Daniel Grant |

silicate rock

Enhanced Weathering

Hear Dr. Long discuss enhanced weathering on BBC World Service.

By: BBC World Service

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Steve Long is listed as a "Pioneer" in the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition's 2018 Researchers to Know.


Plant science on a screen

“In silico” computer simulations allow plant scientists to model and adjust crop attributes while avoiding some of the repetition of producing real-life crops in cycles.

By: Patrick Williams | Greenhouse Management Magazine

Clarivate logo

Eleven Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential

Steve Long is among those named to the 2018 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list.

By: Lois Yoksoulian | Illinois News Bureau

Miscanthus field

Help Or Hinder? Federal Agencies At Odds Over Biofuels

Federal agencies are at odds when it comes to renewable fuels. Millions of dollars go to research, but the EPA has been accused of holding the industry back. But now that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned, advocates are feeling optimistic.

By: Madelyn Beck | Harvest Public Media

Steve Long

The plant whisperer

A famine crisis is looming. Stephen Long's work aims to feed the masses by supercharging the plants we eat. 

By: Duncan Greere | BBC Focus Magazine

rock dust

Adding silicate rocks to farmland could restore soil, protect against pests and disease, and capture CO2, improving global food security

The groundbreaking results of a new British-led study suggested a simple yet profoundly effective way to improve global food supplies and cut down on carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution.

By:  | Natural News

in silico plants logo

in silico Plants (isP) launches – a computational plant science journal

There is a new home for cross-disciplinary research at the interface between plant biology, mathematics and computer science: in silico Plants (isP).

By: Rachel Shekar | in silico Plants

cassava production graphic

Cassava breeding could impair yield by 20 per cent

Breeding African cassava cultivars for improvements such as pest and disease resistance could impair their yield potential, a study suggests.

By: Paul Adepoju || SciDevNet  

tobacco plant

Rebooting food: Finding new ways to feed the future

Welcome to the brave new world of food, where scientists are battling a global time-bomb to find new ways to feed the future.

By: Thin Lei Win | Reuters

extracting the oil from sugarcane

Department of Energy grant funds University-involved bioenergy research

The University received a $10.6 million grant from the Department of Energy to form new methods of creating biofuels that might reduce dependence on oil as a source of fuel.

By: Samantha Boyle || Daily Illini

dry ground

Genetic engineering innovation makes plants more efficient at using water

Agriculture uses 90 percent of the world’s freshwater supply, but this will need to be stretched even further as Earth’s population increases.

By:  | Digital Trends 

field irrigation

‘Major breakthrough’: Genetic modification of single gene could reduce crops’ water use by 25 percent

Researchers unveiled a genetic modification that enables plants to use a quarter less water with scant reduction in yield.

By:  | 

women working

Plagued by pest, African farmers may soon have access to insect-resistant GMO cowpeas—for free

Nigeria is poised to become the first country to release a genetically modified variety of insect-resistant cowpeas to farmers.

By: Paul McDivitt | Genetic Literacy Project

4 endowed Chairs

Faculty members selected for distinguished chairs

Stephen Long, a professor of plant biology and crop sciences, was named a Stanley O. Ikenberry Endowed Chair.

By: Illinois News Bureau

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Five Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential

Steve Long is among those named to the 2017 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list.

By: Diana Yates | Illinois News Bureau

sugarcane plants

Could sugar help us be greener?

Hear Dr. Long discuss if increasing the production of sugarcane ethanol help to cut global carbon emissions.

By: Katie Haylor | The Naked Scientists

tv crew

45 million dollars given to U of I research group

Researchers at the U of I are trying to end world hunger and they just got 45 million dollars to help them do it.

By: Jennifer Jensen | WCIA3 News

greenhouse workers

Illinois biologists power up plant productivity

The BTN LiveBIG campaign is more than school or sports, it is the stories and the impact of innovation, research, and inspiration from all over the conference to make you proud to be apart of the Big Ten. 

By: BTN LiveBIG Campaign

field trials

Research seeks solutions for climate change, hunger

Researchers at the University of Illinois are taking the basics of photosynthesis miles farther in Urbana-Champaign test plots and greenhouses — intervening in the process, through which plants use sunlight to produce energy, to create higher yields.

By: Phyllis Coulter | Illinois Farmer Today

soybean field

To feed the world, improve photosynthesis

By reworking the basic metabolism of crops, plant scientists hope to forestall devastating food shortages.

By: Katherine Bourzac | MIT Technology Review 

cassava root

Research shows how to grow more cassava, one of the world’s key food crops

Despite its widespread consumption, cassava yields have not improved in a quarter of a century. 

By: Stephen P. LongAmanda P. De Souza, and Lynnicia Massenburg | University of Illinois

soybean experiment

Adapting plants to global change

How do you feed 7 billion people? How do you grow that much food? That’s the question that confronts plant biologists. As the world population continues to grow, and change, researchers like RIPE Director Stephen Long are looking for more ways to grow more food, more quickly.

By: Richard Jacobs | FutureTechPodcast

robot in field

Down on the farm with C-3PO

Researchers at the University of Illinois have come up with a robot that can methodically wander fields and beam back stunningly perceptive crop reports.

By: Joe Dysart | Communications for the ACM

leaf veins

Altering the process of photosynthesis

See Steven Long discuss the genetic altering of plants. Photosynthesis, the process by which plants turn sunlight into food, is crucial to crop production and our food systems. What if we could increase the yield of food crops by improving photosynthesis?

By: Andrea Vasquez | SciTech Now


Cloudy days cost yield until scientists hacked photosynthesis

Throughout the growing season seemingly benign clouds pass over millions of acres of crops and inadvertently rob plants of their productivity, costing untold bushels of potential yield. Researchers recently reported in the journal Science that they have engineered a solution and increased the productivity of a crop in the field by 14- 20 percent.

By: Johannes Kromdijk | Katarzyna Głowacka | Stephen Long || The Science Breaker

tobacco plants

The 12 key science moments of 2016

Our panel of leading scientists pick the most significant discoveries and developments of the year – from the Zika virus to the planet Proxima B – and a surprising secret of marriage.

By: Sue Hartley | The Guardian

Steve Long

GMO Labeling

Steve Long discusses the recent U.S. GMO labeling bill on the 21st Show.

By: 21st Show