Clint J. Springer, Ph.D.

Director of Environmental Science and Sustainability Studies and Associate Professor
Office: Science Center 224
Phone: 610-660-3432
Fax: 610-660-1832

Plant physiological ecology with a focus on plant responses to global changes in climate and atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations ([CO2]) are rising at an alarming rate due to fossil fuel combustion and changes in land-use such as deforestation.  Most of the attention surrounding changes in [CO2] focuses on the indirect effects that this greenhouse gas has on global temperature, however atmospheric CO2 is also a primary substrate of photosynthesis.  Therefore, changes in [CO2] have profound effects on plant physiological functioning.  Research in my lab examines plant responses to changes in [CO2] and other global change phenomenon such as global temperature and water availability and the mechanisms through which theses responses occur.  I am especially interested in the response of plant traits that are relevant to plant evolution such as flowering time and reproduction.  Recently, I reviewed the effects of elevated [CO2] on plant flowering time and found that like changing global temperatures, rising atmospheric CO2 will likely dramatically change the flowering time of both native and crop species in the future.  Therefore, a major area of my research is aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms that account for these elevated [CO2]-induced changes in flowering time.  To accomplish this goal I make use of the powerful model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana.  These experiments use techniques based in traditional plant physiology, molecular genetics, and functional genomics.


  • 2004 Ph.D. West Virginia University
  • 1999 B.A. West Virginia University

Professional Experience

Associate Professor (2014 - present), Saint Joseph's University

Assistant Professor (2008 - 2014), Saint Joseph's University
Post-doctoral  Fellow (2004 - 2007), University of Kansas

Courses Taught

  • Plant Physiological Ecology
  • Graduate Seminar
  • Organismal Biology

Faculty Expert Profile

  • Expertise: Biological Effects of Global Climate Change, Biofuels, Artificial vs. Real Christmas Trees, Plant Physiological Ecology