Dan Chitwood

Dan Chitwood

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Assistant Professor
Department of Horticulture

(517) 353-0462



Quick links: Education    Publications    Research

Joined Department

January 2018


70% Department of Horticulture

30% Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering


Post-doctoral researcher, University of California, Davis (2009-2013)

PhD in Biological Sciences, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (2004-2009)

BS in Genetics, University of California, Davis (1999-2003) 

CV (pdf)

Research Interest 

I apply algorithmic thinking to scientific practice, and likewise, I use my experience in plant biology creatively and with purpose within computational settings. As a trained plant biologist, I learn about computational approaches through teaching. My most valued experiences arise from working between groups, whether across disciplines, cultures, countries, or languages. I value equity and reciprocity in working relationships with individuals and institutions. Science and technology only benefit humanity to the degree that they are inclusively practiced and equitably distributed.

Selected Publications

Palande S,*, Kaste JAM,*, Roberts MDS,*, Segura Aba K,*, Claucherty C, Dacon J, Doko R, Jayakody TB, Jeffrey HR, Kelly N, Manousidaki A, Parks HM, Roggenkamp EM, Schumacher AM, Yang J, Percival S, Pardo J, Husbands AY, Krishnan A, Montgomery BL, Munch E, Thompson AM, Rougon-Cardoso A, Chitwood DH, VanBuren R (2023) Topological data analysis reveals a core gene expression backbone that defines form and function across the flowering plants. PLOS Biology. 21(12): e3002397. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3002397

Marks RA, Amézquita EJ, Percival S, Rougon-Cardoso A, Chibici-Revneanu C, Tebele SM, Farrant JM, Chitwood DH, VanBuren R (2023) A critical analysis of plant science literature reveals ongoing inequities. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 120(10):e2217564120. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2217564120

Chitwood DH, Mullins J (2022) A predicted developmental and evolutionary morphospace for grapevine leaves. Quantitative Plant Biology. 3:e22. https://doi.org/10.1017/qpb.2022.13

Migicovsky Z, Quigley MY, Mullins J, Ali T, Swift JF, Agasaveeran AR, Dougherty JD, Grant BM, Korkmaz I, Malpeddi MR, McNichol EL, Sharp AW, Harris JL, Hopkins DR, Jordan LM, Kwasniewski MT, Striegler RK, Dowtin AL, Stotts S, Cousins P, Chitwood DH (2022b) X-ray imaging of 30 year old wine grape wood reveals cumulative impacts of rootstocks on scion secondary growth and Ravaz index. Horticulture Research. uhac226. https://doi.org/10.1093/hr/uhac226

Amézquita EJ, Quigley MY, Ophelders TP, Seymour D, Munch E, Chitwood DH (2022) The shape of aroma: measuring and modeling citrus oil gland distribution. Plants, People, Planet. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp3.10333

VanBuren R*, Rougon-Cardoso A*, Amézquita EJ, Coss-Navarette EL, Espinosa-Jaime A, Gonzalez-Iturbe A, Luckie-Duque AC, Mendoza-Galindo E, Pardo J, Rodríguez-Guerrero G, Rosiles-Loeza PY, Vásquez-Cruz M, Fernandez-Valverde SL, Hernández-Hernández T, Palande S, Chitwood DH (2022) Plants & Python, a series of lessons in coding, plant biology, computation, and bioinformatics | una serie de lecciones de programación, biología vegetal, cómputo, y bioinformática. Plant Cell. 34(7):e1. https://plantsandpython.github.io/PlantsAndPython

Migicovsky Z, Swift JF, Helget Z, Klein LL, Ly A, Maimaitiyiming M, Woodhouse K, Fennell A, Kwasniewski M, Miller AJ, Cousins P, Chitwood DH (2022) Increases in vein length compensate for leaf area lost to lobing in grapevine. American Journal of Botany. 109(7):1063-1073. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.16033