Department of Botany & Plant Sciences




Juan Pablo Giraldo

Assistant Professor of Plant Physiology

Office: 1125 Batchelor Hall

Phone: +1 (951) 827-3583

Email: juanpablo.giraldo@ucr.edu 

Giraldo Lab Website



Ph.D. Harvard University, 2011
B.S. Universidad de Los Andes, 2002

College/Division Affiliation:

College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Areas Of Expertise:

Plant Physiology and Nanobiotechnology: Abiotic stress, Photosynthesis, Targeted and controlled delivery, Nanosensors, Plant Nanobionics, Tropical Plant Physiology

Awards / Honors:

2011 National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology

2010 Harvard Sustainability Science Program Fellowship

2008 Smithsonian Pre-doctoral Fellowship

2006 Outstanding paper in Landscape Ecology by Laurance et al., PNAS, 2006. The International Association of Landscape Ecologists

Research Summary:

The Giraldo Lab works at the interface between plant physiology and nanotechnology. Nanoparticles have unique optical, electronic, and chemical properties. The interactions of nanoparticles with plants and their impact on plant function is not well understood. We aim to develop research tools with nanoparticles to study and engineer plant physiological mechanisms at levels of organization ranging from organelles to tissues and whole plants. Using a plant nanobionic approach we also seek to enable plants with novel or augmented functions. Research projects in the Giraldo lab are focusing on: understanding the impact of nanoparticles on plant photosynthesis and abiotic stress; developing nanosensors for monitoring plant signaling molecules in vivo; targeted delivery and controlled release of biomolecules in plants by nanoparticles.

 Related Press Releases:

Selected Publications:


List of publications from Google Scholar

Wong MH*, Giraldo JP*, Kwak SY, Sinclair R, Koman V, Strano MS. Nitroaromatic Detection and Infrared Communication in Wild-Type Plants using Plant Nanobionics. Nature Materials doi:10.1038/nmat4771

Wong MH, Misra R, Giraldo JP, Kwak SY, Son YW, Landry MP, Swan JW, Blankschtein D, Strano MS. 2016. Lipid Exchange Envelope Penetration (LEEP) of Nanoparticles for Plant Engineering: a Universal Localization Mechanism. Nano Letters (16): 1161-1172

Giraldo JP*, Landry MP*, Kwak SY, Jain RM, Wong MH, Ben-Naim M, Strano MS. 2015. A ratiometric sensor from single chirality carbon nanotubes: Application to in vivo monitoring. Small DOI: 10.1002/smll.201403276

Giraldo JP, Landry MP, Faltermeier SM, McNicholas TP, Iverson MN, Boghossian AA, Reuel NF, Hilmer AJ, Sen F, Strano MS. 2014. Plant nanobionics approach to augment photosynthesis and biochemical sensing. Nature Materials (13): 400-408.

Giraldo JP, Wheeler JK, Huggett BA, Holbrook NM. 2014. The role of leaf hydraulic conductance dynamics on the timing of leaf senescence. Functional Plant Biology 41 (1): 37-47.

Boghossian AA, Sen F, Gibbons BM, Sen S, Faltermeier SM, Giraldo JP, Zhang CT, Zhang J, Strano MS. 2013. Application of nanoparticle antioxidants to enable hyperstable chloroplasts for solar energy harvesting. Advanced Energy Materials 3 (7): 881-893.

Zhang YJ, Meinzer FC, Hao GY, Scholz FG, Bucci SJ, Takahashi FSC, Villalobos-Vega R, Giraldo JP, Cao KF, Hoffmann WA, Goldstein G. 2009. Size-dependent mortality in a neotropical savanna tree: the role of height related adjustments in hydraulic architecture and carbon allocation. Plant cell and environment 32 (10): 1456-1466.

Kursar TA, Engelbrecht BMJ, Burke A, Tyree MT, El Omari B, Giraldo JP. 2009. Tolerance to low leaf water status of tropical tree seedlings is related to drought performance and distribution. Functional Ecology 23 (1): 93-102.

 Laurance W, Nascimiento H, Andrade A, Ribeiro JE, Giraldo JP, Lovejoy T, Condit R, Laurance S. 2006. Rapid decay of tree-community composition in Amazonian forest fragments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (50): 19010-19014.

Giraldo JP. 2003. Change in vegetation cover of the tropical rain forest of National Natural Park Tinigua, Colombia. Pérez Arbelaezia, Journal of the Bogota Botanical Garden, Colombia. 14: 9-24.

 Book Chapters

Giraldo JP and NM Holbrook. 2011. Physiological mechanisms underlying the seasonality of leaf senescence and renewal in seasonally dry tropical forests trees. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests: Ecology and Conservation. R. Dirzo, H. Young, H. Mooney and G. Ceballos. Washington DC, Island Press: 129-140.


Strano MS, Giraldo JP, Kwak S, Wong MH. Method for self-powered detection of nitroaromatics using a wildtype plant. US provisional patent. Filed December 3, 2015.

Strano MS, Kwak S, Giraldo JP, Wong MH. Nanobionic light emitting plants. US provisional patent. Filed November 4, 2015.

Nanobionic engineering of organelles and photosynthetic organisms. U.S Patent 63/930,520, filled November 13, 2013. International Patent PCT/USA2014/050127, filled August 7, 2014.

Ratiometric and multiplexing sensors from single chirality carbon nanotubes. U.S Patent 62/052,767, filled September 19, 2014.


Lab Personnel: 
Receiving applications for graduate students.

We are looking for creative, highly motivated graduate students to join the lab. Ideal applicants should have a background in plant biology, material science, chemistry, chemical engineering, or any related field. Interested candidates to work on plant physiology and nanotechnology can contact Juan Pablo by email with their CV and statement of research interests. Applications for admission should be received through the UCR Graduate Division. 





More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department & Program Information

Department of Botany & Plant Sciences
2142 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (951) 827-4619
Fax: (951) 827-4437
E-mail: bpschair@ucr.edu

Plant Biology Graduate Program
CNAS Grad Student Affairs Office
1140 Batchelor Hall

Toll: (800) 735-0717
Tel: (951) 827-5688
Fax: (951) 827-5517
E-mail: Laura.mcgeehan@ucr.edu