Location: Bowdoin / Barry A. Logan


Barry A. Logan

Professor of Biology
(on leave for the 2016-17 academic year)

Contact Information


Druckenmiller Hall - 220A

Barry Logan: Bowdoin College: Biology


Ph.D. EPO Biology, University of Colorado - Boulder
B.A. Biology,  Cornell University

Biology 079. Ancient and Modern Agriculture.
Though nearly all people presently living on earth depend upon some form of agriculture to feed themselves, farming is a recent innovation when considered in the context of human evolution. The last century witnessed profound changes in agricultural technology and practices. Examines the ecological forces that influenced the establishment and proliferation of agriculture, and studies the scientific underpinnings of the "Green Revolution" and contemporary methods of genetic modification. Compares "high-input" conventional farm- ing with organic approaches in terms of productivity and ecological impacts.
Syllabus [ PDFlink will open a PDF - Portable Document Format] »

Biology 210. Plant Physiology.
An introduction to the physiological processes that enable plants to grow under the varied conditions found in nature. General topics discussed include the acquisition, transport, and use of water and mineral nutrients, photosynthetic carbon assimilation, and the influence of environmental and hormonal signals on development and morphology. Adaptation and acclimation to extreme environments and other ecophysiological subjects are also discussed. Weekly laboratories reinforce principles discussed in lecture and expose students to modern research techniques.
Syllabus [ PDFlink will open a PDF - Portable Document Format] »

Biology 280. Plant Responses to the Environment.
Plants can be found growing under remarkably stressful conditions. Even your own backyard poses challenges to plant growth and reproduction. Survival is possible only because of a diverse suite of elegant physiological and morphological adaptations. The physiological ecology of plants from extreme habitats (e.g., tundra, desert, hypersaline) is discussed, along with the responses of plants to environmental factors such as light and temperature. Readings from the primary literature facilitate class discussion. Excursions into the field and laboratory exercises complement class material.
Syllabus [ PDFlink will open a PDF - Portable Document Format] »

Biology 306. Free Radicals and Antioxidants.
Ordinary cellular metabolism in aerobic environments results in the production of free radicals, and free radical-mediated cellular damage underlies many human diseases. In response to the danger they pose, organisms evolved elaborate antioxidant systems that detoxify free radicals. The biology of free radicals and antioxidants in organisms ranging from bacteria to plants to humans is discussed, along with the importance of free radicals in disease processes. Time is devoted to discussing the primary literature and occasional laboratory sessions.
Syllabus [ PDFlink will open a PDF - Portable Document Format] »

I study the responses of plants to global change and environmental stress.  My research is generally equal parts growth chamber/greenhouse based and field based.  My three primary research interests include:

  • The ecophysiology of eastern dwarf mistletoe infection - Eastern dwarf mistletoe is a parasitic plant that infects native spruce. In the last 25 years it has had profound effects on coastal white spruce forests of Maine. Despite being one of the most damaging pathogens of coniferous trees, the physiological mechanisms by which dwarf mistletoe infections harm and ultimately kill host trees remain unknown. Dwarf mistletoe, only weakly photosynthetic itself, taps into the vascular system of host trees and robs them of water, mineral nutrients, and sugars. Interestingly eastern dwarf mistletoe infection leads to greater damage and mortality in white spruce than red spruce. Students, Jaret Reblin (Laboratory Instructor in Biology) and I use an array of methods to better understand these interactions. Our field sites are in conservation on islands off of midcoast Maine, including Monhegan Island.
  • Barry Logan Fieldwork in AustraliaFunctional responses of Eucalypts to drought under past, present and predicted-future [CO2] - Global climate change is expected to accelerate rapidly, with unknown consequences for Australian forests. With collaborators from Boston University, Fordham University and the University of Western Sydney (and support from the Australian Research Council), we seek to determine the impact of drought on the physiological and growth responses of Eucalypts to increasing temperature, altered precipitation patterns, and past and predicted atmospheric [CO2], using linked glasshouse and field-based [CO2] manipulation experiments conducted at the U. Western Sydney. Read more about our project  (PDF)
  • The photoprotective role of anthocyanins – Anthocyanins, pigments responsible for the color of many red and purple plants structures (e.g., maple leaves in autumn) often accumulate in the upper layers of photosynthetic tissues during exposure to environmental stress and during juvenile and senescent stages of tissue development. Students, collaborators at Victoria University of Wellington and I examine the hypothesis that anthocyanins screen light that would otherwise harm photosynthetic cells below, using a combination of model systems (red- and green-leafed varieties of Coleus) and field observations of native plants, including elderberry.

Logan and students discussing field work on Southport Island, MaineBowdoin undergraduates are involved in nearly all aspects of my research.  Many complete year-long independent projects for graduation with honors in Biology or Biochemistry.  Others pursue lab or field research full-time in the summer with the support of fellowships (see the Biology Department and Student Fellowships and Research websites for more information about summer).  From my lab to date, 18 Bowdoin students have co-authored publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals on 22 instances (three of those students were first authors).

Student Research in Professor Logan's Lab (since 2010)
(* denotes Honors in Biology or Biochemistry)

Michael Walsh*, 2013/2014  Functional implications of the reddening of the fruit-bearing stalks (peduncles) of elderberry (Sambucus sp.).

John de Villier*, 2013/2014  Progressive effects of eastern dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum) parasitism on white spruce (Picea glauca) physiology (co-advised with Jaret Reblin).

Nneka Natabeugo, Fall 2013  Energy dissipation as an alternative energy conversion pathway in elderberry peduncles.

Antigone Mitchell*, 2012/2013  Branching out: photosynthetic properties of Prumnopitys taxifolia, a divaricate New Zealand shrub.

Spencer Eusden*, 2011/2010  Examining the usefulness of a green laser for remote sensing of plant physiological status.

La’Shaye Ervin*, 2011/2012  Examining the extent of eastern dwarf mistletoe endophytic proliferation in two different host spruce species using PCR.

Peter Murphy, 2011/2012  In situ photosynthesis of entire dwarf-mistletoe infected white spruce branches. 

Colin Ogilvie*, 2011/2012  Examining the extent of eastern dwarf mistletoe endophytic proliferation in two different host spruce species using PCR.

Elizabeth Tarr*, 2011/2012  In situ photosynthesis of entire dwarf-mistletoe infected white spruce branches. 

William Stafstrom*, 2011/2012  Testing the photoprotective effect of adaxial anthocyanins in Coleus.

Allison Chan*, 2010/2011  White spruce physiology, growth and reproduction across its geographic range.  2009  Light capture efficiency of shade- and sun-acclimated balsam fir needles.

Ouda Baxter, 2010  Examining the superoxide scavenging capacity of stemmed and stemless maté.

Danielle Marias*, 2009/2010  Assessing light capture and photosynthesis in mistletoe-induced witches’ brooms using a three-dimensional canopy model.

(* Bowdoin undergraduate):

Logan BA, Demmig-Adams B, Adams III, WW, Bilger W (2014) Context, quantification, and measurement guide for non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence. In Demmig-Adams B, Garab G, Adams WW III, Govindjee (eds) Non-Photochemical Fluorescence Quenching and Energy Dissipation in Plants, Algae, and Cyanobacteria.  Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration, Volume 40.  Springer, Dordrecht, in press

Magney TS, Eusden* SA, Eitel JUH, Logan BA, Jiang J, Vierling LA (2014) Assessing leaf photoprotective mechanisms using terrestrial LiDAR: towards mapping canopy photosynthetic performance in three dimensions. New Phytologist  201: 344-356

Lewis, D, Smith RA, Ghanoum O, Logan BA, Phillips NG, Tissue DT (2013) Industrial-age changes in atmospheric [CO2] and temperature differentially alter responses of faster- and slower-growing Eucalyptus seedlings to short-term drought.  Tree Physiology  33: 475-488

Logan BA, Reblin JS, Zonana* DM, Dunlavey* RF, Hricko* CR, Hall* AW, Schmiege* SC, Butschek* RA, Duran KL, Emery RJN, Kurepin LV, Lewis JD, Pharis RP, Phillips NP, Tissue DT (2013) Impact of eastern dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum) on host white spruce (Picea glauca) development, growth and performance across multiple scales.  Physiologia Plantarum  147: 502-513

Lewis JD, Phillips NG, Logan BA, Hricko* CR, Tissue DT  (2011)  Leaf photosynthesis, respiration and stomatal conductance in six Eucalyptus species native to mesic and xeric environments growing in a common garden.  Tree Physiology  31: 997-1006

Phillips NG, Lewis JD, Logan BA, Tissue DT  (2011)  Impact of variable [CO2] and temperature on water transport structure-function relationships in Eucalyptus.  Tree Physiology  31: 945-952

Logan BA, Hricko* CR, Lewis JD, Ghannoum O, Phillips NG, Smith RA, Conroy JP, Tissue DT  (2010)  Examination of pre-industrial and future [CO2] reveals the temperature-dependent CO2 sensitivity of light energy partitioning at PSII in eucalypts.  Functional Plant Biology  37: 1041-1049 

Kornyeyev D, Logan BA, Holaday AS(2010) Excitation pressure as a measure of the sensitivity of photosystem II to photoinactivation.  Functional Plant Biology 37: 943-951

Ghannoum O, Phillips NG, Sears* MA, Logan BA, Lewis JD, Conroy JP, Tissue DT  (2010)  Photosynthetic responses of two eucalypts to industrial-age changes in atmospheric [CO2] and temperature.  Plant, Cell & Environment  33: 1671-1681

Phillips NG, Lewis JD, Logan BA, Tissue DT  (2010)  Inter- and intra-specific variation in nocturnal water transport in Eucalyptus.  Tree Physiology  30: 586-596

Krah* NM, Logan BA  (2010) Loss of psbS expression reduces vegetative growth, reproductive output, and light-limited, but not light-saturated, photosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae) grown in temperate light environments.  American Journal of Botany  97: 644-649

Curriculum vitae in PDF formPDF»