Richard Ferrieri

Research Professor, Chemistry


Dr. Ferrieri earned his Ph.D. degree in Radiochemistry from Texas A&M University in 1979, and then became a postdoctoral fellow under Alfred Wolf at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). He was later hired onto the scientific staff at BNL working on the medical applications of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for animal and human research. In 2002, he shifted his interest away from medical research, and into plant biology leveraging many of the same imaging and radiochemistry tools to study basic plant functions. Dr. Ferrieri is credited with developing the first radiolabeled PET plant hormone (jasmonic acid) to study its transport in living plants, as well as with developing a unique set of dynamic diagnostic tools for unraveling the physiological and metabolic mechanisms of plant stress. After 38 years of service as a tenured senior scientist at BNL, Dr. Ferrieri moved his program to U. Missouri (Columbia) where he has built a new integrative program at the Missouri Research Reactor Center in plant imaging and metabolic flux analysis. As a Research Professor, he holds appointments within the Department of Chemistry and the Division of Plant Sciences, and is a faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group.


Bachelor of Science with a major in Chemistry, Fairfield University 1975

Ph.D. in Radiochemistry, Texas A&M University 1979

Postdoctoral Fellow, Brookhaven National Laboratory 1979-1980.

Select Publications:

  • W. Qu, C.A.M. Robert, M. Erb, B.E. Hibbard, M. Paven, T. Gleede, B. Riehl, L. Kersting, A.S. Cankaya, A.T. Kunert, Y. Xu, M.J. Schueller, C. Shea, D. Alexoff, S.J. Lee, J.S. Fowler, R.A. Ferrieri, “Dynamic precision phenotyping reveals mechanisms of crop tolerance to root herbivory,” Plant Physiology special focus issue on Ecophysiology 2016 (DOI:10.1104/pp.16.00735).
  • V.C.S. Pankievicz, F.P. Amaral , K.F.D. Santos, B. Agtuca, Y. Xu, M.J. Schueller, A.C.M. Arisi, M.B.R. Steffens, E.M. de Souza, F.O. Pedrosa, G. Stacey, R.A. Ferrieri (2015) `Robust biological nitrogen fixation in a model grass-bacterial association,” The Plant Journal 2015, 81, 907-919.
  • A.Karve, D. Alexoff; D. Kim; M.J. Schueller, R.A. Ferrieri; B. Babst, `In vivo quantitative imaging of photoassimilate transport dynamics and allocation in large plants using a commercial positron emission tomography (PET) scanner,” BMC Plant Biology 2015, 15, 273-284.
  • D. Kim, D.L. Alexoff, M.J. Schueller, B.A. Babst, R.A. Ferrieri, J.S. Fowler, D.J. Schlyer, “The design and performance of a portable handheld11CO2 delivery system,” Appl. Rad. & Isotopes, 2015, 94, 338-343.
  • C.A.M. Robert, R.A. Ferrieri, S. Schirmer, B.A. Babst, M.J. Schueller, R.A.R. Machado, C.C.M. Arce, B.E. Hibbard, J. Gershenzon, T.C.J. Turlings, M. Erb, “Induced carbon reallocation and compensatory growth as root herbivore tolerance mechanisms,” Plant Cell & Environment 2014, 37, 2613-2622.
  • B. Agtuca, E. Rieger, K. Hilger, L. Song, C. Robert, M. Erb, A. Karve, R.A. Ferrieri “Carbon-11 reveals opposing roles of auxin and salicylate in regulating leaf physiology, leaf metabolism and resource allocation patterns that impact root growth in Zea mays,” J Plant Growth Regulation, 2014, 33, 328-339.
  • A.P. Ferrieri, B. Agtuca, H. Appel, R.A. Ferrieri, J.C. Schultz, “Getting to the root of the problem: methyl jasmonate induces temporal changes in carbon transport and partitioning in Arabidopsis thaliana that depend on root-shoot signaling,” Plant Physiol., 2013, 161, 692-704.
  • C.A.M. Robert, N. Veyrat, G. Glauser, G. Marti, G. Doyen, N. Villard, M.D.P. Gaillard, T.G. Kollner, D. Giron, M. Body, B.A. Babst, R.A. Ferrieri, T.C.J. Turlings, M. Erb, “Optimal pest foraging beats optimal crop defense: How a specialist herbivore uses defensive metabolites to locate nutritious roots,” Ecology Letter, 2012, 15, 55-64.
  • S. Gómez, A.D. Steinbrenner, S. Osorio, M. Schueller, R.A. Ferrieri, A.R. Fernie, C.M. Orians, “From shoots to roots: transport and metabolic changes in tomato after feeding by a specialist lepidopteran,” Entomol.Experimentalis et. Applicata, 2012, 144 101 -111.
  • D.L. Alexoff, S.M. Dewey, P. Vaska, R.A. Ferrieri, M.J. Schueller, D.J. Schlyer, J.S. Fowler, “PET imaging of escaping positrons from the leaf of a Nicotiana tabacum,” Nucl. Med. & Biol., 2011, 38, 191-200.
  • M. Best, K. Koenig, K. McDonald, M. Schueller, D. Alexoff, A. Rogers, R.A. Ferrieri, “Inhibition of trehalose metabolism impacts recent carbon partitioning into cell-wall components and reduces shoot-to-root ratio in Nicotiana tabacum.,” Carbohydrate Res. 2011, 346, 595-601.
  • M. Best, K. Koenig, K. McDonald, M. Schueller, D. Alexoff, A. Rogers, R.A. Ferrieri, “Inhibition of trehalose metabolism impacts recent carbon partitioning into cell-wall components and reduces shoot-to-root ratio in Nicotiana tabacum,” Carbohydrate Res. 2011, 346, 595-601.
  • N. Hanik, S. Gómez, M. Best, M. Schueller, C.M. Orians, R.A. Ferrieri, “Partitioning of new carbon as 11C in Nicotiana tabacum reveals new insight into methyl jasmonate induced changes in metabolism,” J. Chem. Ecol. 2010, 36, 1058-1067.
  • S. Gómez, R.A. Ferrieri, M.J. Schueller, C.M. Orians, “Methyl jasmonate elicits rapid changes in carbon and nitrogen dynamics in tomato,” New Phytol., 2010, 188, 835-844.
  • N. Hanik, S. Gómez, M. Schueller, C.M. Orians, R.A. Ferrieri, “Use of gaseous 13NH3 administered to intact leaves of Nicotiana tabacum to study changes in nitrogen utilization during defense induction,” Plant Cell & Environ., 2010, 33, 2173-2179.
  • M.C.K. Kasel, M.J. Schueller and R.A. Ferrieri, “Optimizing [13N]N2 radiochemistry for imaging nitrogen-fixation in root nodules of legumes,” J. Label Cmpds & Radiopharm. 2010, 53, 592-597.
  • D. van der Lelie, S. Taghavi, S. Monchy, L. Miller, R.A. Ferrieri, A. Rogers, N. Weyens, J. Vangronsveld, L. Newman, “Poplar and its bacterial endophytes: co-existence and harmony,” Critical Rev. Plant Sci. 2009, 28, 346-358.
  • B.A. Babst, R.A. Ferrieri, M.R. Thorpe, C.M. Orians, “Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) herbivory induces rapid changes in carbon transport and partitioning in Populus,” Entomologia Experimentalis et. Applicata., 2008, 117 -125.
  • R.A. Ferrieri, D.W. Gray, B.A. Babst, M.J. Schueller, D.J. Schlyer, M.R. Thorpe, C.M. Orians, M. Lerdau, “Use of carbon-11 in Populus shows that exogenous jasmonic acid increases biosynthesis of isoprene from recently fixed carbon,” Plant, Cell & Environment, 2005, 25, 591-602.