VEN welcomes Assistant Professor of viticulture, Dr. Megan Bartlett

Dr. Bartlett

Dr. Megan Bartlett joined the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis as an Assistant Professor in January 2019. Her research focuses on developing models to predict grapevine responses to the climate conditions anticipated for California viticultural regions and identifying the physiology and anatomy traits that are most crucial to target in developing more stress-resistant cultivars.

Dr. Bartlett completed a PhD in 2016 in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA under the supervision of Dr. Lawren Sack. Her PhD work showed that the vulnerability of leaves to wilting is a critical trait for drought tolerance, and identified the cellular mechanism driving variation in this trait.

She then completed her postdoctoral work with Dr. Stephen Pacala in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. Her postdoctoral research focused on modeling how the impacts of drought on stomatal behavior will vary across plants with diversity in anatomy and physiology traits.

The Bartlett laboratory uses modeling and experimental approaches to address questions about the mechanisms that confer resistance to drought and heat stress, including:

  • How should grapevines change their stomatal behavior to balance the competing demands of evaporative cooling and saving water, and what biochemical and anatomical traits can grapevines adjust to produce optimal stomatal responses?
  • What traits mediate carbon and water fluxes between the canopy and the berries during ripening, and what trait values would allow new cultivars to maintain berry yield and quality under hotter and drier conditions?
  • How will the effects of stress on cell development impact the ability of grapevines to recover from severe stress events, and what cellular traits enable rapid recovery?

Dr. Bartlett’s research will apply the understanding gained from addressing these questions to find management strategies growers can use to adapt to a warmer, drier California.

Welcome to Dr. Bartlett!