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David Becker

Associate Professor of Biology and
John P. & Magdalena R. Dexter Professor of Botany

Contact Information

R. C. Seaver Biology Building, Room 237
175 W Sixth Street
Claremont, CA 91711


Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin
B.A. Oberlin College

Professional Experience

Biology and Chemistry Teacher, Newport High School, Newport, KY
Biology and Chemistry Teacher, Goshen High School, Goshen, IN
Analytical chemist, CTS Corp., Elkhart, IN
Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology, Pomona College
Chair of Biology, Pomona College


Biology 1C: Biology of Garden Plants
Biology 41C: Introduction to Cell Chemistry & Cell Biology
Biology 166: Plant Physiology

Research Interests

I employ biochemical and biophysical methods to study extreme temperature effects on photosynthesis and plants’ abilities to tolerate them. In two different projects, I use a local desert plant, creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), that is well adapted to high temperatures and a single-celled green alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) expressing a bacterial gene for cholesterol oxidase in the chloroplast. In addition, I collaborate with Elizabeth Friar in the graduate Botany Program at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in a project examining ecophysiological parameters in the speciation of the Hawaiian silversword alliance of plants.

Selected Publications

Becker, D. 2005. Points of view: A survey of survey Courses: Are they effective?: A case for nonsurvey introductory biology courses. Cell Biol. Educ. 4: 157-168. [full text]

Heyer, J.B. Parker, D. Becker, J. Ruffino, A. Fordyce, M. De Witt, M. Bedard, and R. Grebenok. 2004. Steroid profiles of transgenic tobacco expressing an Actinomyces 3-hydroxysteroid oxidase gene. Phytochemistry 65: 2967-2976. [abstract]