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Anja Geitmann

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Anja Geitmann studies the biomechanical principles governing plant development and reproduction. Her research involves plant molecular and cell biological techniques, high end optical and electron microscopy, micro-mechanical testing, computational modeling and mechanical engineering methods. Her team comprises biologists, engineers and physicists.

Dr. Geitmann served as the President of the International Association of Sexual Plant Reproduction Research (2018-2022) and she chaired the International Committee of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Previously, she served on the executive committees of the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists (CSPB/SCBV; President 2015-2017) and of the Microscopical Society of Canada (MSC/SCM; President 2013-2015). She serves on the editorial boards of the journals Cell, Plant Physiology, Current Opinion in Plant BiologyThe Cell SurfaceJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, and in silico Plants. She is the editor of the recently published books 'Plant Biomechanics', 'Pollen and Pollen Tube Biology - Methods and Protocols', and 'Plant Cell Walls - Research Milestones and Conceptual Insights'.

Dr. Geitmann obtained her Vor-Diplom (BSc; 1989) and Diplom (MSc; 1993) in biology from the University of Constance, Germany. During her studies, she spent a year of exchange studies at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, and she carried out her MSc research project at the Botanical Institute of Stockholm University, Sweden. She obtained her PhD in 1997 from the University of Siena, Italy, where she worked with Prof. Mauro Cresti at the Department of Environmental Biology.

From 1997 to 1998 Dr. Geitmann worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Laval University, Quebec, Canada, with Prof. Pierre-Mathieu Charest. She then continued onto a second postdoctoral fellowship at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, with Prof. Anne Mie Emons, from 1998 through 2001.


From 2001 to 2015 Dr. Geitmann was Professor at the Département de sciences biologiques, Université de Montréal, and Scientist at the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale. She managed the Microscopy Facility of the Department and taught graduate and undergraduate courses including Plant Anatomy, Microscopy, and Scientific Communication


Dr. Geitmann's research group joined the Department of Plant Science at the Macdonald Campus and in 2016 she was awarded a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) renewed in 2023. in 2017 she led a $24M proposal to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation for the 'Eastern Canadian Plant Phenotyping Platform' and she oversees the Macdonald Campus Multi-Scale Imaging Facility (MuSIF).

In 2015 Dr. Geitmann became the Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of McGill University and Associate Vice-Principal (Macdonald Campus). In 2024, Dr. Geitmann is seconded for 12 months to the role of Interim Vice-President Global Engagment.

Dr. Geitmann is a seasoned administrator and manager and sought after public speaker who is regularly invited to speak at scientific conferences and symposia. She also gives TED talk style plenary lectures tailored to general audiences. Please find information here.

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