Joseph Pollard

Rose J. Forgione Professor of Biology (Emeritus)

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Dr. Joe Pollard grew up in Atlanta and did his bachelor's degree in botany at Duke University. He received a Winston Churchill Scholarship to pursue doctoral studies in Cambridge, England, receiving his Ph.D. in botany in 1981. His doctoral research was on the ecology and genetics of variation in Urtica dioica, the stinging nettle. Dr. Pollard spent seven years on the faculty of Oklahoma State University, and then moved to Furman in 1988. He served as chair of Furman's biology department from 2000 to 2010, and in 2008 he was appointed to the Rose J. Forgione professorship in biology. In addition to teaching introductory courses, ecology, research & analysis, and field botany, Dr. Pollard has been involved in many of the department's study away programs. He has more than 20 peer-reviewed publications (many with student co-authors), and is the editor of Chinquapin, the newsletter of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge
  • B.S.,  Duke University

Research

Dr. Pollard's research is in physiological and evolutionary ecology, with a focus on the interactions between soil chemistry and plant growth, and how these interactions affect herbivores and ecosystems. Recent research in his lab has focused on plants that "hyperaccumulate" heavy metals, i.e. concentrate elements such as zinc or nickel to exceptionally high concentrations in leaf tissues. This is significant in part because these plants could be used as a way to clean up polluted soils. Projects that he and his students and have studied include the extent to which hyperaccumulation is a genetically variable character within species, the adaptive significance of hyperaccumulation and the possibility that it functions as a defense against herbivores, and the extent to which hyperaccumulator plants may facilitate the transfer of metals into food chains. The research has involved field work in England, Spain, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and in the Carolinas.

Publications

*Denotes undergraduate coauthor

Pollard AJ, Reeves RD, Baker AJM. 2014. Facultative hyperaccumulation of heavy metals and metalloids. Plant Science 217–218:8– 17.
Campbell LR*, Stone CO*, Shamsedin NM*, Kolterman DA, Pollard AJ. 2013. Facultative hyperaccumulation of nickel in Psychotria grandis (Rubiaceae). Caribbean Naturalist 1:1-8.
van der Ent A, Baker AJM, Reeves RD, Pollard AJ, Schat H. 2013. Hyperaccumulators of metal and metalloid trace elements: facts and fiction. Plant and Soil 362:319–334.
Pollard AJ, Stewart HS*, Roberson CB*. 2009. Manganese hyperaccumulation in Phytolacca americana L. from the Southeastern United States. Northeastern Naturalist 16(5):155–162.
Peterson LR*, Trivett V, Baker AJM, Aguiar C, Pollard AJ. 2003. Spread of metals through an invertebrate food chain as influenced by a plant that hyperaccumulates nickel. Chemoecology 13:103-108.
Pollard AJ, Powell KD*, Harper FA, Smith JAC. 2002. The genetic basis of metal hyperaccumulation in plants. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 21:539-566.
Pollard AJ, Dandridge KL*, Jhee EM*. 2000. Ecological genetics and the evolution of trace element hyperaccumulation in plants. In: N Terry and G Banuelos (eds), Phytoremediation of Contaminated Soils and Waters. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Pp. 251-264.
Jhee EM*, Dandridge KL*, Christy AM*, Pollard AJ. 1999. Selective herbivory on low-zinc phenotypes of the hyperaccumulator Thlaspi caerulescens. Chemoecology 9:93-95.
Pollard AJ, Baker AJM. 1997. Zinc hyperaccumulation in Thlaspi caerulescens (Brassicaceae) as a defense against herbivores. New Phytologist 135:655-658.
Pollard AJ, Baker AJM. 1996. Quantitative genetics of zinc hyperaccumulation in Thlaspi caerulescens. New Phytologist 132: 113-118.
Pollard AJ, Reeves RD, Baker AJM. 2014. Facultative hyperaccumulation of heavy metals and metalloids. Plant Science 217–218:8– 17.
Campbell LR*, Stone CO*, Shamsedin NM*, Kolterman DA, Pollard AJ. 2013. Facultative hyperaccumulation of nickel in Psychotria grandis (Rubiaceae). Caribbean Naturalist 1:1-8.
Tuberville TD*, Dudley PG*, Pollard AJ. 1996. Responses of invertebrate herbivores to stinging trichomes of Urtica dioica and Laportea canadensis. Oikos 75:83-88.
Lookadoo SE*, Pollard AJ. 1991. Chemical contents of stinging trichomes of Cnidoscolus texanus. Journal of Chemical Ecology 17:1909-1916.