Faculty Profile

Biochemistry Faculty

Mark Lubkowitz, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology

Post-Doctoral fellow in plant developmental genetics, The University of California: Berkeley
Ph.D., Microbiology, The University of Tennessee
B.S., Biology, Washington and Lee University

View my Curriculum Vitae

Area of Expertise:

I study how molecules are transported across membranes in plants and how these processes affect seed germination and overall distribution of sugars in plants.

Courses I Teach:

  • BI153: Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics
  • BI205: Biological Communications
  • BI247: Plant Biology
  • BI325: Molecular Biology

Recent Publications

  • Lubkowitz, M (2011).  The Oligopeptide Transporters: A small gene family with a diverse group of substrates and functions? Molecular Plant 4(3):407-15.
  • Bang-Jensen, V., and Lubkowitz, M.  (2010) Student-led garden tours: Fertile ground for interdisciplinary collaboration.  Teaching Professor 24(3):7.
  • Vasconcelos, M., Li, G., Lubkowitz, M., and Grusak, M. (2008) Characterization of the PT Clade of Oligopeptide Transporters in Rice.  Plant Genome 1:77-88. 
  • Lubkowitz, M.A. (2006).  The OPT family functions in long distance peptide and metal transport in plants. In Genetic Engineering: principles and methods, volume 27, 35-55. ed J. Setlow (Springer).
  • Current grant through the National Science Foundation (2011-2016). Title: Genetic and genomic approaches to understanding long-distant transport and carbon partitioning in plants. This is a collaborative project between the University of Missouri, University of Florida, Vermont EPScOR, University of Nebraska, Purdue University, and Saint Michael's College.
  • I am also co-authoring a monthly column with Professor Valerie Bang-Jensen in the Education Department titled "Books in Bloom" that is published by the National Garden Association

Class Appreciation Award, 2011

Life Off Campus:

I am an avid cyclist (roadie :)), whitewater kayaker, and skate skier. Some days, I think I am a gourmet and others a gourmand but either way I am a big fan of using meals to build community and family.  At home, we grow food year round in our gardens and four season greenhouse.  We are the proud owners of Huntington, Vermont’s first vineyard (named Briefly Complex and unfortunately it is an accurate name) and my wife and I have hosted a dinner party every 15th of the month for the last 17 years!  Culinary delights are often found often in my classroom.

Valerie Bang-Jensen, associate professor of education, is author of the article, “Books in Bloom: Flowers as cultural, historical and aesthetic themes in picture books: The Dragon Lode,” appearing in the peer-reviewed journal International Reading Association, Spring/Summer 2014 issue. Valerie also co-presented with her Saint Michael’s colleague Mark Lubkowitz, associate professor of biology, at two conferences in the spring: The first, on March 28, 2014 at the Vermont State Department of Education Kindergarten Conference in Burlington, was “Stories and Seeds: How great children’s literature invites scientific understanding.” The second, on May 20, 2014 at the Vermont Library Association Conference on the Saint Michael’s campus, was “Books in Bloom: Read your way to a summer garden,” in the session titled “STEM programming at your local library.” Mark and Valerie also were interviewed by Jane Lindholm on the Vermont Public Radio program Vermont Edition in May about their book Books in Bloom: Discovering the Plant Biology in Great Children’s Literature, published in 2014 by the National Gardening Association.  http://digital.vpr.net/post/books-bloom-shares-botany-childrens-literature
(posted August 2014)

Mark Lubkowitz, associate professor of biology, Valerie Bang-Jensen, associate professor of education, report that the National Gardening Association recently published their new curriculum book, Books in Bloom: Discovering the Science in Great Children's Literature. This illustrated book, written for educators, parents, and anyone involved with environmental education, explores the literary and biological themes in 17 excellent books for children. (March 2014)

Mark Lubkowitz, associate professor of biology, and Valerie Bang-Jensen, associate professor of education, were co-presenters at several academic events this past semester. On October 19, 2013, they were plenary speakers at the Captain Planet Learning Gardens Conference in suburban Atlanta, presenting "Books in Bloom: Inviting children to develop biological and literary lenses to create rich understandings of their world.” They also spoke at the 2013 Annual Convention National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in Boston on November 23, 2013, presenting as members of the panel, "Books in Bloom: Integrating Children's Literature and Plant Biology." Here's how the NCTE Convention Web site described the session: "Imagine Miss Rumphius without lupines, or Winnie-the-Pooh without thistles for Eeyore. Explore the relationship between children’s literature, botany, and gardens. Participants will choose a book from our collection and construct a literary desktop garden followed by discussion and guidelines for creating similar projects in their own learning and gardening communities." On December 11, 2013 they presented "Embracing Complexity: Creating a Richer Picture Through Merging Biological and Literary," as part of the Science Speaker Series at Johnson State College. Each fall that college’s Department of Environmental and Health Sciences hosts a speaker series on Wednesday afternoons featuring experts on topics in science, and Valerie and Mark made the final presentation of this year's series. (November 2013)


Mark Lubkowitz, associate professor of biology, and Valerie Bang-Jensen, associate professor of education, presented a talk, "Interpretive Literary Gardens," at the American Horticultural Society's National Children and Youth Gardening Symposium in Denver, CO, in July 2013.They are slated to give the following talk at the National Council of Teachers of English annual conference in Boston in November, 2013: "Books in Bloom: Integrating Children's Literature and Plant Biology," and also will participate in the Current Topics in Science Speaker Series at Johnson State College in Vermont, presenting "Embracing Complexity: Creating a richer picture through merging biological and literary lenses" (December 11, 2013). Finally, they will give a plenary talk at the Captain Planet Foundation Learning Gardens conference for suburban Atlanta schools in Acworth, Georgia in October, 2013. September 2013

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