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Alexander Bucksch

Courtesy Faculty in Plant Biology
(home department: School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona)

Alexander Bucksch received his PhD from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands in 2011, where he developed the first algorithm to measure complete tree crowns from laser scanned trees. He then moved as a PostDoc to the Georgia Institute of Technology where he was jointly appointed between the School of Biology and the School of Interactive Computing and began to work on root phenotyping. In 2016, Dr. Bucksch joined the faculty of UGA as an Assistant Professor with joint appointment in the Department of Plant Biology, the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the Institute of Bioinformatics.  He leads the computational plant science lab which combines computer vision and shape analysis to analyze the topological and geometrical characteristics of plant architecture. The lab is best known for DIRT (Digital Imaging of Root Traits,, which is the world’s largest root phenotyping platform with over 620 users in over 40 countries. Dr. Bucksch is a founding member of the Georgia Informatics Institutes and the Plant Phenomics and Robotics Center at the University of Georgia. He received the 2020 Early Career Award from the North American Plant Phenotyping Network and the NSF CAREER award in 2019 to quantify and simulate the phenotypic spectrum of roots that he presents today. He is now an Associate Professor in the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona.

Research Interests:

Alexander Bucksch develops innovative computational methods to study plant organizational levels from a computational and mathematical perspective. He expands to plant science the mathematical concept of “shape descriptors,” which reveal the state and growth of complex structures. Using imaging instruments and simulation models, Bucksch captures spatial arrangements of branches, roots, and other organs that together form complex morphological phenotypes. His interdisciplinary methods have led to discoveries of phenotypes on scales ranging from populations to gene regulatory elements, that had been hidden to classically trained biologists. Bucksch’s work increases understanding of plant adaptions to changing environments, which could benefit crop yield and public health. More than 700 researchers use his methods through the world’s largest root phenotyping platform, Digital Imaging of Root Traits.

Selected Publications:


2021: Root Hairs vs. Trichomes: Not everyone is straight!
A. Roy, A. Bucksch
Current Opinion in Plant Biology 64, 102151.

2021:DIRT/3D: 3D root phenotyping for field-grown maize (Zea mays)
S. Liu, C.S. Barrow, M. Hanlon, J.P. Lynch, A. Bucksch
Plant Physiology 187(2), pp. 739-757.

2020:Image-based root phenotyping could improve hidden hunger in developing countries
N. Busener, J. Kengkanna, P. Saengwilai, A. Bucksch
Plants People Planet.

  • 06/2011-06/2016 PostDoc, joint between Biology and Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, United States
  • 12/2005-04/2011 Ph.D., Optical and Laser Remote Sensing, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • 10/2001-05/2005 M.Sc. and B.Sc., Information and Media Technology, Technical University of Brandenburg, Germany
Of note:


Articles Featuring Alexander Bucksch

Alexander Bucksch, Associate Professor in Plant Biology, was featured in a UGA Research news article about his DIRT/3D (Digital Imaging of Root Traits) imaging system that is designed to measure 18 different root traits from mature maize…

Congratulations to Alexander Bucksch for receiving this award! Bucksch is an assistant professor for PBIO, the Institute of Bioinformatics, and Warnell School of Forest Resources.

Congratulations to Alex Bucksch for receiving an NSF Early Career Award! Here's Alex's award abstract:

The phenotypic spectrum: Quantifying new patterns of architecture variation in crop roots

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