Andrew Leakey, Professor and Head of the Plant Biology Department, in addition to Director for the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Leakey is now working on the RIPE Project with a focus on stomatal conductance. Leakey brings 20 years of experience researching the interface of physiology, genetics, and molecular biology. Leakey earned his Bachelor of Science in 1998 at the University of Sheffield, where he also earned his Ph.D. in 2003. He completed a Postdoc in Steve Long’s lab from 2004-2007, which was followed by becoming a research fellow at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Leakey’s research broadly addresses the need to improve the understanding of how the environment impacts ecosystem goods and services while advancing efforts to improve and protect crop production and water cycling. His focus within RIPE is to understand the genetic and physiological controls of stomatal patterning and photosynthetic water-use efficiency (WUE) through a combination of molecular genetics, quantitative genetics, and physiology.