Jonathan Lynch, Ph.D.

  • University Distinguished Professor
Jonathan Lynch, Ph.D.
221 Tyson Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-863-2256

Areas of Expertise

  • crop ecophysiology
  • plant adaptation to abiotic stress
  • plant genetics
  • simulation modeling



  1. 1987 Ph.D. University of California, Davis (Plant Physiology)
  2. 1982 M.Sc. University of California, Davis (Plant Physiology)
  3. 1980 B.Sc. University of California, Berkeley (Soils and Plant Nutrition)

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the basis of plant adaptation to drought and low soil fertility. This encompasses physiology, genetics, and ecology, centered on organismic processes. Our current work focuses on understanding root phenes that can be used to breed crops with better acquisition of water, nitrogen, and phosphorus. For a more detailed description of my interests, please see the overview given on the root lab page. 


2016-             Advisory Council, Foundation for Food and                       Agriculture Research

2015-             Chair in Root Biology, University of Nottingham, UK   

2013-             Director, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate Resilient Beans

2012-2015      Guest Researcher, Forshungszentrum Jülich, Germany

1991-              Asst./Assoc./ Full Professor, Penn State University

1988-1991       Senior Staff, CIAT, Colombia

1984-1987       Postgraduate Researcher, University of California, Davis

Honors and Awards

Dennis Hoagland Award, American Society of Plant Biologists, 2018

Woolhouse Lecturer, Society for Experimental Biology, 2017

Dundee Medal, 2015

Alex and Jessie C. Black Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research, 2005

Howard P Taylor lectureship in root biology research, 2005

Fellow, Crop Science Society of America, 2004

China Friendship Award, the highest recognition awarded foreigners by the government of China, received from Premier Zhu Rongji, Beijing 1999.

Excellent Educational Work Prize, Guangdong Province, China, 1996

Distinguished Professor, Mexican Academy of Sciences, 2005

Nonresident Fellow, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation