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Steve Long

Stephen P. Long

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Academic Appointments


Ikenberry Endowed University Chair of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2018 – present    
 
Professor Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
Department of Crop Sciences, Lancaster University, UK
2016 – present
 
Center for Advanced Studies Professor 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2013 – present 
    
Faculty
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2004 – present
   
Faculty Fellow
National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2001 – present 

Contact

Office: 1408 IGB
Phone:  217-244-0881
Emailslong@illinois.edu

Research Interests

  • To understand mechanisms of plant responses to both rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and tropospheric ozone, with particular reference to photosynthesis and relating changes at the molecular and biochemical level to observations of whole systems in the field.
  • Establish the potential of mitigation of atmospheric change through the development of herbaceous energy crops.
  • Advance the development of accessible mechanistic mathematical models relating environmental effects on photosynthesis to plant productivity (see WIMOVAC).
  • To understand the limitations to C4 photosynthesis and the adaptation of the process to cooler climates.

Research Programs

About Steve

Steve Long is Fellow of the Royal Society and both the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) and the American Society for Plant Biology (ASPB).

Steve has published over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, including original research published in Nature and Science. Thomson Reuters’ listed Steve as one of the “Most Influential Scientific Minds” and "Most Highly Cited” in Animal and Plant Biology every year since 2005. His work has been recognized by many awards, including the 2012 Marsh Award for Climate Change Research from the British Ecological Society, the 2012 Kettering Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists, and the 2013 Innovation Award of the International Society for Photosynthesis Research. He was the 2013 Riley Memorial Lecturer of the World Food Prize and AAAS. He was also a member of the IPCC First Assessment Report Working Group, whose report was honored with a Nobel Prize. In 2019, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. 

He has given invited briefings on food security and bioenergy to the President at the White House, the Vatican, and Bill Gates. He serves in advisory roles on key agricultural committees worldwide, including the European Commission’s Joint Programming Initiative on Energy, Food and Agriculture; the Federal Biomass Technical Advisory Committee; and the German Cluster of Excellence in Plant Sciences as a Fellow of Rothamsted Research.  He is an honorary professor at the University of Essex and Cornell University and a visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Oxford.

Recent work has focused on the bioengineering of photosynthesis and its adaptation to global change to increase the yield of bioenergy and food crops. His achievements include discovering the most productive land plant known—a grass from the Amazon—and the development of the first dynamic model of the complete photosynthetic process, which is now being used as a design tool for engineering improved photosynthesis. He also identified Miscanthus as one of the most productive temperate plants, which as a result, has emerged as a major sustainable bioenergy option both in Europe and North America.

Steve is Founding and Chief Editor of Global Change Biology, which is listed by ISI as the most cited journal on Climate Change after Nature and Science Magazine. He is also the Founding and Chief Editor of GCB Bioenergy. At Illinois, he initiated the development of the SoyFACE facility on the South Farms, which is now the largest open-air laboratory for investigating the impacts of global change on our major food crops and the 320-acre Energy Farm, the world’s largest outdoor research center devoted to bioenergy crops. 

Learn more

Watch this video from the University of Illinois Campus Insights where Steve Long talks about his lifelong interest in plants and recent work to boost crop yield by improving photosynthetic efficiency.

Check out Steve Long's Center for Advanced Study (CAS) lecture on feeding and fueling the world by 2050. 

Publications

Refer to Steve's Google Scholar page for a complete list of his publications. 

The LongLab is supported by many public and private partnerships, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the UK Government's Department for International Development, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

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