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Stephen P Long

Profile picture for Stephen P Long

Contact Information

1201 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL. 61801

Research Areas


Research Interests

Environmental physiology, atmospheric change impacts on crops and natural vegetation, C4 photosynthesis, energy crops, mathematical models of photosynthesis

Research Description

Research topics:

  • Environmental physiology including cold tolerance
  • Global atmospheric change impacts on crops and natural vegetation
  • C4 photosynthesis
  • Biomass energy crops including Miscanthus and switchgrass
  • Mathematical models of photosynthesis

The overall objectives of my research program are:

  1. To understand mechanisms of plant responses to both rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and tropospheric ozone, with particular reference to photosynthesis and relating changes at the molecular and biochemical level to observations of whole systems in the field.
  2. Establish the potential of mitigation of atmospheric change through the development of herbaceous energy crops.
  3. Advance the development of accessible mechanistic mathematical models relating environmental effects on photosynthesis to plant productivity.
  4. To understand the limitations to C4 photosynthesis and the adaptation of the process to cooler climates. My lab integrates molecular and biochemical studies with physiological studies of photosynthesis, using state-of-the-art and custom built gas-exchange, fluorescence and controlled environment instrumentation. Much of the work involves developing and testing hypotheses on plant environmental responses under controlled conditions and then testing these in large-scale multi-partner field facilities.

The International journals Global Change Biology (Blackwell Science) and GCB Bioenergy are edited from my laboratory.

We have active research links with several global change laboratories within and outside the US, including Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and the U.K. A number of our laboratories graduate students have undertaken a part of their research at the overseas sites.


Ph.D. 1976, University of Leeds
B.Sc., 1972, University of Reading

Additional Campus Affiliations

Stanley O. Ikenberry Endowed Chair, Plant Biology
Professor, Plant Biology
Professor, Crop Sciences
Professor, Bioengineering
Director, Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE), Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
Professor, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
CAS Professor, Center for Advanced Study

Recent Publications

He, Y., Jaiswal, D., Long, S. P., Liang, X. Z., & Matthews, M. L. (2024). Biomass yield potential on U.S. marginal land and its contribution to reach net-zero emission. GCB Bioenergy, 16(2), Article e13128.

Maitra, S., Cheng, M. H., Liu, H., Cao, V. D., Kannan, B., Long, S. P., Shanklin, J., Altpeter, F., & Singh, V. (2024). Sustainable co-production of plant lipids and cellulosic sugars from transgenic energycane at an industrially relevant scale: A proof of concept for alternative feedstocks. Chemical Engineering Journal, 487, Article 150450.

Rotundo, J. L., Marshall, R., McCormick, R., Truong, S. K., Styles, D., Gerde, J. A., Gonzalez-Escobar, E., Carmo-Silva, E., Janes-Bassett, V., Logue, J., Annicchiarico, P., de Visser, C., Dind, A., Dodd, I. C., Dye, L., Long, S. P., Lopes, M. S., Pannecoucque, J., Reckling, M., ... Rufino, M. C. (2024). European soybean to benefit people and the environment. Scientific reports, 14(1), 7612.

Salesse-Smith, C. E., Lochocki, E. B., Doran, L., Haas, B. E., Stutz, S. S., & Long, S. P. (Accepted/In press). Greater mesophyll conductance and leaf photosynthesis in the field through modified cell wall porosity and thickness via AtCGR3 expression in tobacco. Plant Biotechnology Journal.

Srivastava, A., Srinivasan, V., & Long, S. P. (2024). Stomatal conductance reduction tradeoffs in maize leaves: A theoretical study. Plant Cell and Environment, 47(5), 1716-1731.

View all publications on Illinois Experts