Lab members


Lauren Sinclair (MSc candidate).

lsinclai at

In this NSERC-funded MSc project, Lauren is studying the drought tolerance of conifers. She started in September 2017 and is supervised by Uwe Hacke and Andreas Hamann.



Uwe Hacke (Professor of Tree Biology).

uwe.hacke at

Uwe Hacke was born in Hessen, Germany. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Kiel in Germany. Uwe did postdoctoral work at Duke University in North Carolina. He then moved to the University of Utah (John Sperry's laboratory) where he worked as a Research Associate and then as a Research Assistant Professor.

Uwe joined the faculty at the University of Alberta in Jan. 2007. He is interested in many aspects of plant biology but his favorite topics are trees, water, xylem, phloem, and aquaporins (and birds, although this is not a research topic yet). He was a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair from 2007 - 2016. In 2013, he received the CD Nelson Award for outstanding research contributions to Plant Biology from the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists. In 2017, he received the David J. Gifford Award for outstanding research contributions to tree biology in Canada. Uwe is currently serving as the Department's graduate program coordinator.




Former lab members:


Rachel Hillabrand (Ph.D.)

2014-2018. Ph.D. thesis: Drought and defoliation-induced alterations to the structure and function of the vascular tissue in trees.

Rachel was co-supervised by U. Hacke and Vic Lieffers. She moved on to a postdoctoral position at the University of Alberta.

Max MacLaggan Scholarship 2015 (2.8k). A. Hunsdorfer Memorial Grad. Scholarship. Al Brennan Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Forestry 2017 (12k).


Ryan Stanfield (Ph.D.)

2015-2018. Ph.D. thesis: The phloem sieve tube as a dynamic carrier of water and sugars.

Katherine Esau award from the BSA for his poster at Botany 2015. Al Brennan Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Forestry 2015 (14.5k). One of 5 winners of the Images of Research competition at the UAlberta 2016. AB Innovates - Technology Futures Graduate Student Scholarship 2016, 2017.


Jaime Sebastian Azcona (Ph.D.)

2015-2018. Ph.D. thesis: Adaptation of white spruce populations to extreme climate events: implications for assisted migration practices in Western Canada.

Jaime was co-supervised by U. Hacke and Andreas Hamann. He is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta.


David Montwé (Postdoctoral fellow).

David studied the seasonal dynamics of cambial activity in our lab. He moved on to another postdoctoral position at the University of Victoria.

David received his PhD at the University of Freiburg, Germany. You can find out more about his work and see his publications here.


David Love (Postdoctoral fellow).

David worked on a large-scale Genome Canada-funded project in 2018. He studied drought tolerance of conifers. David moved to another postdoctoral position at the University of Georgia.


Cayla Brocious (MSc).

Cayla studied leaf hydraulics in the genus Populus. She asked: How is leaf anatomy linked to water movement in leaves? How much does water flow in the lamina versus petiole contribute to the total leaf hydraulic resistance? Can we explain differences in performance (expressed in terms of stomatal conductance and leaf hydraulic conductance) with anatomical features?

MSc thesis: Linking leaf hydraulics with anatomy in Populus genotypes.

FSGR Foreign Tuition Differential, 2013-2015; Best Poster Award, RENR 604


Stefan Scheiber (postdoctoral fellow).

Stefan finished his Ph.D. in 2012 (co-supervised by A. Hamann and U. Hacke). He then worked as a postdoc in the lab till 03/2015. Stefan studied hydraulic traits of aspen provenances and hybrid poplar trees. He found that narrow vessels may be advantageous in boreal environments, allowing sustained growth. Stefan is self-employed ( He provides data analysis and environmental statistics solutions.

Ph.D. thesis: Adaptation of trembling aspen and hybrid poplars to frost and drought: implications for selection and movement of planting stock in western Canada.

More about Stefan's work (2008-2015)…

Stefan's website.

Provost Doctoral Entrance Award 2008 (9K); H. and J. Hall Graduate Scholarship in Forestry 2008 (3K); Max MacLaggan Scholarship 2010 (3K); Best student presentation at the Poplar Council Canada Meeting 2011; Graduate Student Teaching Award 2012.


Joan Laur (Ph.D.).

Aquaporin function in woody plants. Aquaporins are membrane-based water channels. Joan studied how they modify water transport in roots and leaves. She used various techniques, including qRT- PCR, hydraulic and anatomical methods, and confocal microscopy.

She finished her PhD in the summer of 2014. PhD thesis: Aquaporin regulation in poplar and spruce trees under environmental change. Joan is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Université de Montréal.

UofA Graduate Student's Association Teaching Award 2014


Lenka Plavcová (Ph.D.). Phenotypic plastcity of xylem traits; pit membrane structure and chemistry.

Lenka finished her thesis in the summer of 2012. PhD thesis: Environmental Influences on Wood Structure and Water Transport in the Model Tree Populus.

Lenka enjoyed using light and electron microscopy techniques (including immunolabling), but she is interested in an incredibly broad range of topics and techniques. She is currently employed at the University of Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic.

More about Lenka's work (2008-2012)…

Provost Doctoral Entrance Award 2008-2009 (9k); Best poster award RenR604 2010; Professional Development Grant 2010 (1k); W.H. McCardell Memorial Scholarship in Forest Science 2010 (2k); Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Science Scholarship 2010; J. Gordin Kaplan Graduate Student Award 2011 (1k); Al Brannan Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Forestry 2011 (11k); H. and J. Hall Graduate Scholarship in Forestry 2011 (3k).


Adriana Almeida-Rodriguez (postdoctoral fellow). Adriana studied the expression and function of aquaporins in poplars and other plants. She measured the hydraulic conductance of root tips, studied gene expression, and did in situ hybridizaton to visualize where aquaporin genes are expressed in the tissue.

She works for the Ministry of Environment, British Columbia.