David Becker

Emeritus Associate Professor of Biology
With Pomona Since: 1986
  • Expertise


    David Becker employs biochemical and biophysical methods to study extreme temperature effects on photosynthesis and mechanisms that plants employ to tolerate them. In particular, he studies a local desert plant, the creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), that is particularly well adapted to tolerate high temperatures.

    In addition, he collaborates with a colleague at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, on a project that examines the photosynthetic properties of some plants with altered steroid contents.

    Research Interests

    • Heat stress effects on photosynthesis
    • Mechanisms of thermotolerance in plants

    Areas of Expertise


    • Plant Biology
    • Plant Physiology
    • Environmental Stresses on Plants and their Responses
    • Photosynthesis
  • Work


    With J. J. Brand, "Anacystis Nidulans Demonstrates an In Vivo Calcium/Sodium Requirement for PSII Activity," Plant Physiology, 79, 552-558, 1985

    With J. J. Brand, "Short Review: Evidence for Direct Roles of Calcium in Photosynthesis," Journal of Bioengineering Biomemb, 16, 239-249, 1984

    "A Case for Nonsurvey Introductory Biology Courses," Cell Biology Education, 2005

    With J. Heyer, B. Parker, J. Ruffino, A. Fordye, M. De Witt, M. Bedard, and R. Grebenok, "Steroid Profiles of Transgenic Tobacco Expressing an Actinomyces 3-hydroxysteroid Oxidase Gene," Phytochemistry 65, 2967-2976, 2004

    With J. J. Brand, "In Vivo Effects of Calcium on Photosystem II," in Methods in Enzymology: Cyanobacteria, 167, 280-285 (L.P. Packer and A.N. Glazer, eds., Academic Press, 1988)

    With F. E. Callahan and G. M. Cheniae, "Studies on the Photoactivation of the Water-Oxidizing Enzyme. II. Characterization of Weak Light Photo Inhibition of PSII and its Light-Induced Recovery," Plant Physiology, 82, 261-269, 1986

    With F. E. Callahan and G. M. Cheniae, "Photoactivation of NH2OH-Treated Leaves: Reassembly of Released Extrinsic PSII Polypeptides and Religation of Mn into Polynuclear Mn Catalyst of Water Oxidation," FEBS Lett, 192, 209-214, 1985

  • Education


    1984, Ph.D., Botany
    University of Texas, Austin

    1969, Bachelor of Arts
    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