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About Kenneth J. Curry

My formal research training is in developmental morphology of fungi and plants. I have studied development of fungal spores (ascospores), orchid scent glands (osmophores), and fungal invasion of strawberry and blackberry tissue. Much of my research is at the ultrastructural level using a transmission electron microscope and occasionally involves techniques in cytochemistry, immunocytochemistry, and morphometry.
Research in plant pathology has been in conjunction with a local USDA research station (Poplarville, MS). I have examined anthracnose of strawberry, a disease caused by Colletotrichum spp., in which the fungus invades host tissue with symptoms expressed as tissue lesions; double blossom or rosette in blackberry, a disease probably caused by Cercosporella rubi in which the reproductive parts of the flower die prematurely; and blueberry root rot caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi. Currently I am collaborating on a project for screening strawberry cultivars for resistance to anthracnose.
I have interests in the philosophy of biology and its relationship to the history of biology. Aspects of scale and hierarchy in natural systems, especially at scales of organization much smaller (nanometer) or much larger (global) than humans, is an extension of my work in electron microscopy. Theoretical aspects of evolution and biological systematics are among my research interests. I am especially interested in the philosophical underpinnings of the concept of species and philosophical considerations of problems in evolutionary biology. The history of ideas, such as the nature and application of teleology, is an area of active study for me.
I have been engaged in a series of collaborative projects that involve transmission electron microscopy or light microscopy. The most current is a multidisciplinary effort in marine geology exploring mechanisms for long-term preservation of organic material. My contribution to this effort involves development of techniques for serial reconstruction of clay fabric at the nanometer level of organization and the creative use of image analysis software for visualizing and analyzing that three-dimensional fabric.

Positions

Present Associate Professor, University of Southern Mississippi
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Curriculum Vitae


Disciplines


Research Interests

Biology and Botnay/Mycology

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Courses



Biology (2)

Botany (11)

Geology (4)

Philosophy of Science (3)