Dr. Allison Phillips (2011)
Assistant Professor of Biology


  • B.S., University of Kentucky - Agricultural Biotechnology
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison - Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Carnegie Institution for Science - Department of Plant Biology

Research Interests

I am interested in exploring how seeds develop and I use maize as a model system. The goals of my research are to determine genes and factors which influence seed development and to specifically determine the contribution of the maternal parent to this process. My research integrates techniques in genetics, molecular biology, cell biology and plant physiology to answer this central question.

I am also interested in working with undergraduates to develop curriculum materials to share Biology and Plant Science with younger students and the wider community. It is an awesome way to integrate science research, teaching, and civic engagement and share the wonder and beauty of plant science with others.

Current Courses

  • BIO 124 Plant Science
  • BIO 202 Principles of Biology 2
  • BIO 324 Botany
  • BIO 401 Research Strategies
  • BIO 433 Molecular Biology


American Society for Plant Biologists

Published Papers

  • Phillips, A.R. and M.M.S. Evans. (2011). Analysis of stunter1, a maize mutant with reduced gametophyte size and maternal effects on seed development. Genetics 187(4): 1085-1097.
  • Phillips, A.R., A. Suttangkakul and R.D. Vierstra. (2008). The ATG12 conjugating enzyme, ATG10, is essential for autophagic vesicle formation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics 178(3): 1339-1353.
  • Phillips, A.R., A.L. Roberston, J. Batzli, M. Harris, and S. Miller. (2008). Aligning goals, assessments and activities: an approach to teaching PCR and gel electrophoresis. CBE Life Sci. Educ. 2008: 96–106.
  • Robertson, A.L. and A.R. Phillips. (2008). Integrating PCR theory and bioinformatics into a research-oriented primer design exercise. CBE Life Sci. Educ. 2008: 89–95.
  • Thompson, A.R., J.H. Doelling, A. Suttangkakul, and R.D. Vierstra. (2005). Autophagic nutrient recycling in Arabidopsis thaliana directed by the ATG8 and ATG12 conjugation pathways. Plant Physiol. 138(4): 2097-2110.
  • Thompson, A.R. and R.D. Vierstra. (2005). Autophagic recycling: lessons from yeast help define the process in plants. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 8(2): 165-173.