Dr. Robert W. Corbett


Dr. Robert W. Corbett

Laboratory Coordinator, Microbiology

Phone: 409-880-8254

Office: 205-15 Hayes Biology Building

Email: rwcorbett@lamar.edu

Courses Taught: Microbiology laboratories (BIOL 2420), Plants and Man ( BIOL 1409 Lecture and Lab)

Dr. Corbett received his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Texas A&M University in 2005. His dissertation research examined the regulation of light signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana. Dr. Corbett joined the Biology Department at Lamar University in 2007

Research Interests:

I have broad interests in the growth and development of plants and their uses in society. My background as a member of the fifth generation of a cattle ranching family interested in rangeland ecology and conservation has always encouraged me to learn about plants and the roles they play in the environment. My training is broad and encompasses all aspects of plants from the molecular level up through the whole plant and its interaction with the surrounding environment.

Past Research Projects: 

1. Prairie Improvement Project: A collaborative effort with Dr. Ellen Cover (Biology Department, Lamar University) and Matt Whitbeck (Field Biologist, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge) to study the reintroduction and establishment of forb species into reclaimed prairie ecosystems at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Three forb species were planted in transects in March of 2008 and data has been taken on their growth and establishment. Project is indefinitely suspended due to Hurricane Ike striking the refuge in September 2008 with hopes to resume the project once damages to the refuge have been assessed and repaired.

2. Control of Malassezia pachydermitis Infections Using Essential Plant Oils: A collaborative project with Dowlen Road Veterinary Center in Beaumont, Texas to determine if any essential plant oils can be used to control the outbreak of Malassezia pachydermitis in the ears of canine patients in lieu of traditional medications. Malassezia pachydermitis is a lipophilic yeast that grows in the ear canals of canines similar to the yeast Candida albicans that causes yeast infections in humans. Essential oils from different plants will be used to determine if any are effective at controlling or inhibiting the growth of Malassezia pachydermitis. Following determination of oils that control or inhibit the growth of Malassezia pachydermitis, safety of the oils for use in canines will have to be determined

Research Support

Department of Biology, Lamar University

Corbett, R.W. and Cover, E.E. Assessment of Growth and Establishment of Forb Species for Prairie Improvement. Friends of Anahuac Refuge ($3,000

Professional Organizations:

Texas Academy of Science - Member, March 2007 to present

Native Plant Society of Texas - Member, December 2007 to present

Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust - Board Member, January 2008 to present


Corbett, R.W. 2005. Application of New Genomic Methods to the Characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana Photomorphogenesis. Ph.D. Dissertation. Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

Pepper, A.E., Corbett, R.W., and Kang, N. 2002. Natural Variation in Arabidopsis seedling photomorphogenesis reveals a likely role for TED1 in phytochrome signaling. Plant Cell and Environment, 25:591-600.

Professional Activity:

Since joining the department, Dr. Corbett has been in charge of the Biology Department greenhouse located adjacent to the Hayes Biology building. He has been responsible for the renovation of the greenhouse and addition of plant specimens to the greenhouse collection used for demonstration material in many of the departmental lab courses. Dr. Corbett is also responsible for maintaining the flower beds in front of and behind the building and has his students help out with the efforts during the semester he teaches his course on plants in society (BIOL 1409). The collection of plants in the greenhouse includes many native species of plants as well as many exotics that are part of Dr. Corbett's personal collection from around the world.

Dr. Corbett is an avid collector of the Passiflora (Passionflower) and Asclepia (Milkweeds) genera as well as many other plants that many people may have never seen before. He also takes photographs of plants for submission to the Digital Flora of Texas Vascular Plant Image Library hosted at Texas A&M University. Anyone interested in visiting the greenhouse only has to ask and Dr. Corbett is willing to give a tour and talk about the many different plants in the collection.