David (or Dah – veed as it is pronounced in Spanish) was born in Panama, Central America. He moved to Mexico in his early childhood moving back and forth between the two countries. In his early twenties he started his bachelor degree in Biology at the School of Botany in the University of Panama.
During those years, David worked in Barro Colorado Island, a world-class tropical research station administrated by the Smithsonian Institution where he developed his passion for plant physiology. After working for a year at the Stable Isotope Ratio Facility for Environmental Research at the University of Utah (David loves to work with fancy instrumentation) he traveled to Cancun, Mexico after contacting his high school sweetheart, Anayansi. In Cancun he worked as an industrial scuba diver until he, Anayansi and their son Santiago moved to Edmonton after she was accepted in the Land Reclamation PhD program at the Department of Renewable Resources, here at the University of Alberta. Upon arrival in Edmonton, David started working as lab manager for Dr. Mel Tyree, who was opening a research Lab at the University of Alberta. David had met Dr Tyree 10 years earlier back in the tropical forests of Panama.
Two years later David was accepted into the PhD program at the Department of Renewable Resources, fulfilling his old dream of pursuing a doctoral degree, under Dr. Tyree’s supervision. After Dr. Tyree’s retirement David joined Professor’s Simon Landhäusser’s research group, where he is studying how the gas exchange and water relations physiological domains modulate carbon dynamics of aspen and balsam poplar seedlings under drought stress.
David is a serious advocate on the need for more basic research, which in his view “…can sometimes be mistakenly perceived as less relevant or urgent than applied science. This perception could become more common during the impending crisis the forestry industry confronts during the next decade. Nonetheless, understanding how a poplar clone grows requires studying more than just productivity rates; we need to know about its photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, hydraulic conductivity and reserve dynamics.”
When not working on his PhD project (which is not that often lately) David is always available for strong coffee, red wine and dominos!
Added: 29 August 2011