Cynthia (Cindy) Marie Ross Friedman

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My research is in the area of plant anatomy, particularly seed development.  I primarily study the reproductive development of the dwarf mistletoe Arceuthobium americanum, aparasitic flowering plant belonging to the Viscaceae, the same family as the Christmas Mistletoe.  All mistletoes are parasites, and in the interior of  B.C., A. americanumparasitizes lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia).   Mistletoes derive all of their water and mineral nutrients from their host.  Dwarf mistletoes, however, also obtain some sugars from their host. Being a pathogen, A. americanum inflicts disease on the host pines, stunting the trees and increasing mortality.  Using the techniques of light, fluorescence, and electron microscopy, I have elucidated stages of female development in A. americanum.


Presently, I am investigating the mechanism of explosive seed discharge at the microscopic level, and as a result have cultivated a great interest in physics and kinematics.   I heartily enjoy collaboration with my colleagues here at TRU, and most recently have been working alongside Dr. Mark Paetkau (Physics).   I also have wonderful collaborations with Hua-Feng Wang (China), Maria Vanessa Lencinas (Argentina), Prof. Dr. Ralf Kaldenhoff (Germany), and Alessio Papini (Italy).  Hua-Feng, Vanessa, and I have shared interests in forest ecology and conservation, while Ralf and I are working with Joanna Urban (TRU) with respect to the role of aquaporins in explosive discharge.    Alessio and I have examined reproductive developmental anatomy in some Brassicaceae.


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