I am interested in the transport of water through plants. Plants are dependent on water for survival and their ability to acquire water from the soil and transport it throughout the plant is determined in part by the hydraulic properties of the plant's tissues.
Branches are interesting junctions in the flow path from roots to leaves. More than simple pipes that divide, the downstream branches are at least partly uncoupled from each other. I am also studying similar junctions in the root system.
I am also interested in how the anatomical and physical characteristics of cells (like these tracheids from Douglas-fir) determine the resistances to water flow through the xylem. Water flowing along the xylem in this tree has to flow from cell-to-cell through pits in the walls, like those shown in the cell on the right.
I am particularly interested in computer modeling or mathematical approaches to studying transport processes. The above images show recent work based on a computational fluid dynamics approach to flow through pits in conifer tracheids.