TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The University of Texas at Tyler announced on Tuesday they have been awarded a $100,000 by NASA to “advance the fundamental understanding of plants in spaceflight-like environments.”

Dr. Shawana Tabassum. Photo courtesy of UT Tyler

Dr. Shawana Tabassum, UT Tyler assistant professor of electrical engineering, will serve as principal investigator for the project.

“Our central hypothesis is that real-time data collected on plant responses can be used to
determine the fundamental ways plants interact with microclimatic conditions associated with
living in space,” Tabassum said.

The university said results from the project will enable scientists to predict crop performance in spaceflight conditions and support future experiments aboard the International Space Station.

UT Tyler will collaborate with Texas A&M University as project activities will be conducted at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research facility.

“This award recognizes the high quality and innovation of Dr. Tabassum’s work,” Dr. Steven
Idell, UT Tyler senior vice president for research said. “We are extremely proud that her contributions will assist NASA in their efforts.”