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Allison Oakes

Allison Oakes

Allison Oakes

Pronouns: She/Her
Assistant Teaching Professor


436 Life Sciences Complex
Office: 315.443.2479




Ph.D in Plant Science and Biotechnology

Social/Academic Links

Courses Taught

  • BIO 421
  • BIO 435
Biographic Overview

Dr. Allison Oakes is excited to join the SU Biology Department as a Assistant Teaching Professor starting Spring 2024. Prior to starting this position, Dr. Oakes was a post-doctoral research scientist at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She has taken the procedures and techniques developed by decades of America chestnut research and was applying them to the American elm, another iconic native tree threatened by exotic pathogens. She studied transforming American elms with plant genes that are likely to improve disease resistance to elm yellows. In addition to research, she performs statistical analysis for the research team’s experiments and is a first author on multiple publications. She is a passionate instructor and science communicator, and has taught college biology, genetics, and statistics.

Research Interests

Genetic engineering for pathogen resistance in native tree species

Research Specializations

Genetic engineering for native species conservation and restoration, Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, plant tissue culture media and technique optimization, rooting and acclimatization of recalcitrant woody plant species

Lab Affiliations

The American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project



Oakes, Allison D. In review. “The current state of conservation and restoration of native tree species through genetic engineering”. Evolutionary Applications.

Newhouse, Andrew E., Anastasia E. Allwine, Allison D. Oakes, Scott H. McArt, William A. Powell. 2021. “Bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) survival, pollen usage, and reproduction are not affected by oxalate oxidase at realistic concentrations in American chestnut (Castanea dentata) pollen”. Transgenic Research. 30: 715-764.

Oakes, Allison D., Hannah C. Pilkey, and William A. Powell. 2020. “Ex vitro rooting of American chestnut improves acclimatization survival and plantlet quality”. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 38 (4): 149-157.

Linda McGuigan, Patrícia Fernandes, Allison Oakes, Kristen Stewart, William Powell. 2020. “Transformation of American Chestnut (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh) using RITA® Temporary Immersion Bioreactors and We Vitro Containers”. Forests. 11 (11): 1196.

Oakes, Allison D., Tyler R. Desmarais, Charles A. Maynard, and William A. Powell. 2016. “Ex vitro rooting of American chestnut improves acclimatization survival and plantlet quality”. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 34 (3): 75-79.

D’Amico, Katherine M., Thomas R. Horton, Charles A. Maynard, Stephen V. Stehman, Allison D. Oakes, and William A. Powell. 2015. “Comparisons of Ectomycorrhizal Colonization of Transgenic American Chestnut with Those of the Wild Type, a Conventionally Bred Hybrid, and Related Fagaceae Species.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81 (1): 100–108. doi:10.1128/AEM.02169-14.

Maynard, C.A., L.D. McGuigan, A.D. Oakes, B. Zhang, A.E. Newhouse, L.C. Northern, A.M. Chartrand, L.R. Will, K.M. Baier, and W.A. Powell. (2014). Chestnut, American (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.) Chapter 13 In: Wang, K. Methods in Molecular Biology. Third Edition: Agrobacterium Protocols.

Honors and Awards

AT&T Central New York Stem Woman of the Year 2017