Dr. Tessa Pocock, Plant Physiologist with the ERC presented the keynote talk at the annual Department of Energy’s Solid State Lighting Technology Development Workshop on November 17-18, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Pocock’s talk titled “Tuning the Spectrum for Plant Growth” discussed how the ability to tune the spectrum of LED light sources has opened up new possibilities for horticultural lighting — to improve indoor plant production and associated energy use as well as plant nutrient and pharmaceutical value.

This talk shared findings from the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center’s work to examine what we know about the effects of different portions of the spectrum on plant growth, and where future research will focus.  Efforts around Dr. Pocock’s research include the fine-tuning of light for urban and vertical farming opportunities.

“Thanks to recent advances in LED technologies, it is now possible to better elucidate the effects and functions of different portions of the spectrum to manipulate plants with unprecedented control and accuracy.” said Dr. Pocock.  “The fine-tuning of light spectra and controlled regulations of plant attributes is adding new sophistication to plant production.”

Light and plants expert Tessa Pocock, Ph.D., joined the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center (ERC) in 2014, leading the development of a new plant physiology lighting program.  Her research focuses on plant photosynthesis, and plant development and regulation by light for traditional greenhouse crops and the emerging filed of medicinal plants.

Prior to joining the ERC, Dr. Pocock was director of research at Heliospectra in Sweden, where she designed light-emitting diode (LED) regimes to reduce energy consumption, produce healthier plants, and improve the quality of greenhouse crops.  For the last four years, she has been developing a biofeedback system in which the physiology of the plant regulates the spectrum and intensity of LED arrays in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology under a prestigious grant from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra).