The socioeconomic value of seeds is of overwhelming importance to modern society. Seeds are responsible for 70 percent of the food we eat. Orthodox seeds, those capable of withstanding dehydration, are an excellent means by which to store and transport food globally. This is largely due to the impunity of the mature, desiccated seed, relative to all other stages of the plant life-cycle, to biotic- and abiotic-insult. How a quiescent orthodox seed can tolerate dehydration to 5-10 percent moisture content remains a fascinating, unexplained aspect of seed biology.
Upon imbibition, the commitment to end seed dormancy (when present) and complete germination is controlled by elaborate regulatory mechanisms attuned to internal- and external-environments. The penalty for completing germination and commencing seedling establishment under unfavorable circumstances or an inappropriate season is dire. This has placed enormous evolutionary selection on seeds to monitor their external environments and to integrate the external information they receive with their physiological status, culminating in an all-or-nothing attempt to establish the next generation.  

My program seeks to enhance our understanding of how the seed proteome is protected in the desiccated state and repaired following imbibition and, following imbibition, the physiological and molecular events controlling seed germination.