Olena Vatamaniuk

Olena Vatamaniuk

Associate Professor

608 Bradfield Hall
(607) 255-8049

Olena Vatamaniuk is Associate Professor at the Soil and Crop Sciences Section at Cornell University. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Botany at the Lviv State University (Ukraine) and Ph.D. in Plant Physiology at Lviv State and Kyiv State Universities (Ukraine). She did her postdoctoral studies in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics at the University of Pennsylvania (PA, USA). She joined the Cornell faculty in 2005. In 2011, she was promoted to tenured Associate Professor. She serves as chair of the Plant Sciences Research Honors Program at CALS.

Research Focus

The Vatamaniuk lab studies molecular mechanisms of homeostasis of micronutrients such as copper, iron and zinc and their interactions with a toxic element cadmium as pertains to plant growth, development, yield, food safety and human health. We use model plants, Arabidopsis thaliana, Brachypodium distachyon, and most recently grain crops, wheat and rice and a variety of functional genomics approaches including high-precision analytical tools such as synchrotron x-ray fluorescent microscopy to identify and characterize genes that control iron, copper, zinc and cadmium uptake into the plant, their delivery to the shoot and loading into grains. Our ultimate goal is to contribute basic knowledge to the generation of novel biofortification strategies as well as improving grain yield and safety.

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Presentations and Activities

  • The Role of Copper Transport in Pollen Fertility in A. thaliana. 17th International Workshop on Plant Membrane Biology. June 2016. Annapolis, MD.
  • SXRF as a tool to address complex biological questions: Two Case Studies “Role of Copper in Pollen Fertility in A. thaliana” and “Effect of Cadmium on Cellular Distribution of Essential Elements in C. elegans. Hard X-ray Spectroscopies and Imaging Workshop. June 2016. Ithaca, NY, USA.
  • Transcriptional Regulatory Networks that Coordinate Copper Homeostasis and Crosstalk with Cadmium Resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana. 9th International Copper Meeting. October 2014. Duke University, USA. Vico Equense, Italy.
  • OPT3 is a Multispecific Transition Metal Transporter that Loads Fe into the Phloem and Mediates Root-to-Shoot Partitioning of Cd by Orchestrating Transcriptional Fe Deficiency Responses. Annual Meeting of American Society of Plant Biologists. July 2013. ASPB. Providence, Phode Island, USA.