Department of Biology

David Chiasson, Ph.D.

  • B.Sc. (Hons.), St. Francis Xavier University
  • M.Sc., Queen’s University
  • Ph.D., The University of Adelaide
  • Postdoctoral Research, Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU Munich)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Saint Mary's University

Research

I study the symbiosis between legume plants and nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria (rhizobia). Rhizobia gain entry into legume roots and subsequently convert atmospheric nitrogen gas into ammonia (nitrogen fixation). Ammonia is then released to the plant, serving as an important source of nitrogen. In return, the plant provides the necessary nutrients to support rhizobial metabolism. In contrast to nitrogen fertilizer production using fossil fuels, nitrogen fixation is a natural process and a key component of sustainable agriculture. I am interested in identifying plant genetic factors which can be harnessed to enhance symbiotic productivity.

Teaching

BIOL 3398 Microbiology

BIOL 4416 Fungal Biology

BIOL 4549 Honours Seminar