The Plant Physiology & Fruit Science research team focuses on understanding the responses of plants to the typical abiotic stresses of the Mariana Islands. This work is primarily whole plant physiology. The horticultural research aims at improving production practices of tropical fruit species and native woody perennial tree species.
Researchers in this laboratory have been at the forefront in protecting Cycas micronesica, the only native gymnosperm from the Mariana Islands, from two introduced arthropods: the cycad blue butterfly, Chilades pandava Horsfield and Asian cycad scale, Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi. The combined attack of these introduced species has resulted in a very high mortality rate which has prompted the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) to designate a provisional conservation endangered species for Cycas micronesica.