Amy Frary's research focuses on studying the genetic architecture and evolution of plant genomes, largely through the analysis of quantitative traits and comparative genome mapping. She seeks to discover and characterize the genes underlying specific physical attributes of plants and to understand the ways in which genes, chromosomes, and whole genomes have changed over evolutionary time. Her work is primarily centered on crop plants because these species offer long-established model systems for basic research as well as the potential for contributing to the applied science of plant breeding. An alumna of Mount Holyoke, Frary says she returned to MHC "because of the quality of the students."
Having recently moved into a new office on the top floor of the renovated Carr Laboratory, Frary is excited by the interdisciplinary nature of the new science center. Frary is now an occupant of what is becoming known as the "chemistry/ molecular biology zone." She is equally at home among biologists who work at the molecular level and chemists who work at the biological level.
Frary has worked with students on the Howard Hughes Summer Research Training program on such topics as the DNA fingerprinting of plants. The program is dedicated to students who have completed their first year of study and wish to spend two months at Mount Holyoke as participants in an intensive training program in biological research techniques.
Currently, Frary teaches A Green World; Introductory Biology II: How Organisms Develop; Local Flora; Plant
Diversity and Evolution; and Plant Growth and Development. Frary's latest scholarly publications have appeared in Genome Research and Theoretical and Applied Genetics.
- "Putting Tomatoes on the (Genetic) Map," Vista, summer 2003
- "A Summer Science Program: Why Settle for Lazy, Hazy, and Crazy?," Vista, fall 2001