Keuper Building on a sunny day.

Greatness In Academics, Research And Beyond

Dr. John Z. KissAs Florida Tech's Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. John Z. Kiss, is chiefly responsible for executing the fulfillment of Florida Tech's academic and research missions, as well as leading its academic administration, and accreditation. The Provost's Office establishes policies and procedures concerning academic programs, oversees faculty and staff appointments and promotions, and works to continuously improve the quality of teaching and scholarship at Florida Tech.

Provost's Bio

In addition to serving as the Chief Academic Officer, John Z. Kiss is a plant space biologist. He has served as a Principal Investigator on eight spaceflight projects that have involved NASA as well as the European Space Agency and Roscosmos. His recent research focuses on how gravity and light responses influence each other in plants in order to better understand the cellular signaling mechanisms involved in plant tropisms—directed plant movements in response to external stimuli.

His group also is interested in the role of red light as an environmental cue capable of counteracting the adverse effects of the lack of a gravity vector during spaceflight on plant growth and development. Learning how plants adapt to weightlessness and low-gravity environments is important for determining the ability of vegetation to provide a complete, sustainable, dependable and economical means for human life support in space. The ability of plants to provide a source of food and to recycle carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen may prove critical for astronauts who will live in space for months at a time. In addition, in the long term, this new knowledge of how plants grow and develop at a molecular level should lead to significant advances in agriculture on Earth.

To learn more about the Provost, see Dr. John Z. Kiss's faculty profile.

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