Welcome to our research laboratory at the University of Alberta. We study vascular transport in plants. We ask how transport processes are influenced by environmental factors. In a broader context, we study how plants cope with abiotic stress, such as drought and frost.

A short description of our work can also be found on this website: http://xylem.simdif.com/.


Recent Projects

poplar xylem

Xylem development, structure and function. We explored wood development and how it is influenced by genes and environment. To do this, we grew hybrid poplar plants under different levels of water, light, and nitrogen.
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To learn what we studied on the topic of phenotypic plasticity, check this out: http://vimeo.com/31570800

climate change effects on aspen forests

Climate change effects on forest health. We are studying drought-induced dieback in aspen and other tree species in western Canada.

aquaporins in conifer needle

Aquaporins. Water channel proteins are found in many tissues and cell types. Plants have more aquaporin genes than other organisms, which raises the question what the function of individual aquaporin genes is. We have used a wide range of methods (including confocal microscopy, in situ hybridization, and qRT-PCR) to study these fascinating membrane channels.

plantation trees

Hydraulic traits of plantation trees. How does vessel diameter vary across sites? Can we link tree growth at boreal planting sites with vessel diameter or other xylem traits? Do hybrid poplar clones differ in their frost tolerance and leaf phenology?
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Uwe Hacke acknowledges support from:

The Canada Research Chair Program. // Canada Research Chairs

NSERC. // Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

CFI. // Canada Foundation for Innovation

Government of Alberta - Small Equipment Grants


Dr. Hacke is a participant in the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS)┬áprogram sponsored by NSERC CREATE.


  • Phone:
    (780) 492 8511
  • Email:
    uwe.hacke at ualberta.ca
  • Address:
    442 Earth Sciences Building
  • Department of Renewable Resources
    Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3, Canada