Kenyon College

KathRYN Edwards Homepage (last update: 3/2010)

Professor of Biology

Department of Biology
Kenyon College
Gambier, Ohio 43022

Phone: (740)-427-5654

Approaching the end of the my Final Professional Decade (FPD). Focused Activities include

(1) Grant writing and coordinating campus discussions on Aging In Academe
(a) generating multiple paths to stepping out of Academe           
(b) retaining and engaging retirees in Knox County                    
(c) learning and sharing across ages                                          
(d) mid career interactive strategies and preparing for the FPD  

(2) The power of a laboratory experience in an interdisciplinary science      
                                                         course for nonscience-majors

(3) Using Appreciative Inquiry to produce a more productive, imaginative,
                                                     and enthusiastic working community

(4) Creating a better on campus life model for students :                           
                                                         No More Equity: Equality for Everyone

(5) Having Middle Path paved in an architechurally stunning and              
                                       meaningful way that assures ease of use for everyone

(6) Reaching out to all those alums who have touched my life in and out   
                                                                       of the classroom and laboratory






Teaching Interests: Appreciating the beauty and novel intracacies of plant cells opened my eyes to other worlds I never imaged I could be enchanted by. My first goal in teaching was and is to help reveal the incredible workings of plant cells and how we have come to better understand them. However, I was pre-vet throughout my college years and it was only by unusual circumstances that I have turned out as a plant physiologist. So I have a strong love of anatomy and animal dissection, biochemistry, and genetics and evolution. My second passion is for women's studies and teaching with antiracism at the core of syllabus.

I have taught broadly in our curriculum engaging non-majors and majors in The Biology of Female Sexuality which has been subject to much debate worldwide and is featured prominently in writer-in-residence Fred Kluge's book, Alma Mater. David Marcey, now at Cal Lutheran University, and I co-taught an HIV and Emerging Viruses course which really was exciting for me...I learned so much abo
ut viruses and illness!!

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Research Interests: The research I began as my Honors project in college I continued as my PhD thesis at the University of North Carolina: how the plant hormone, auxin, controlled corn root elongation. I tried to unravel a mystery wherein my data did not comply with the standing interpretation found in all textbooks in the 60's and 70's. As a postdoc at Yale I turned my attention to the mode of auxin transport and localization of the tissues performing active transport of the hormone. Once I began teaching my students became actively involved in pursuing hormone transport questions. As grant monies opened up at NASA to investigate a particular growth phenomena.....YOU GUESSED IT!...gravitropism (the asymmetric growth of a plant organ resulting in a particular re-orientation to gravity), the lab turned its attention to the question of how hormone transport might play a role in relaying and mounting asymmetrical growth in corn roots. This turned into a burning need to understand how plant cells detect change in their orientation to the gravitational field. On sabbatical at Washington University in St. Louis, I learned the technique of patch-clamping. This resulted in indentifying the first stretch-activating ion channel in a plant cell. A stretch-activated channel could respond to cell wall distortions and/or organelle distortions as relayed to it by cytoskeletal linkers. Plant cells, by and large are very difficult to patch-clamp and roots are multicellular and show evidence that normally the cells that detect gravity are spatially separated from the tissue that responds by elongation. A single cell system might be easier to study, I thought and switched my attention to a fungus recommended to me by Rainer Her
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tel of Germany: Phycomyces, the pride and joy of Nobel Prize winner, Max Delbruck. This work continues today with students in my lab.


Teaching Interests (continued):

Research Interests (continued):

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