Portrait Photograph of Simon Gilroy

Simon Gilroy


College of Letters & Science l Department of Botany

Dr. Simon Gilroy is a professor in the Botany Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research is on how plants sense and respond to their environment. He works extensively with NASA on understanding how plants grow on the International Space Station and plans for using plants in life support on planetary bases.


Plants in Space: Why is There Plant Research on the International Space Station?

NASA has a long history of partnering with university plant researchers to understand how plants respond to growing in space. The talk will cover the kinds of plant research going on in space and some of the recent work from UW-Madison. We will cover what problems we still need to solve, whether plants need gravity to grow normally and how close we are to using plants in a bioregenerative life support system to provide food and replenish the air in long-term spaceflight.

Approximate length of talk: 20 to 45 minutes

Gardening Without Gravity
What are the challenges of growing plants in spaceflight and how can engineering of equipment and the plants themselves be used to solve these problems.
Are My Plants Listening To Me?
Plants have remarkable senses. How do they monitor the world around them and how can they respond? We will explore these features of being a plant through time lapse imaging and following the remarkable reactions plants have to challenges such as being eaten or simply following the sunshine.