My research interests lay predominately in Natural Products associated with Alaskan plants. As such, students in my laboratory gain lots of experience with preparative and analytical separations (flash chromatography, HPLC, Chromatotron, GC, selective extractions, etc) and structure determinations using modern spectroscopic techniques (mass spectroscopy, IR, NMR, and UV/Vis).
My current projects include using bioassays to guide isolations of components of Alaskan blueberries that have potential to reduce oxidative stress and establishing an evolutionary linkage between plant defense against herbivory and wildfire history. This latter project's hypothesis has been confirmed using Alaska paper birch (Betula neoalaskana) and we hope to extend it to other species. Of course I always welcome the chance to isolate and identify new compounds and have recent successes with mountain birch (B. occindentalis), Mopane (Colophospermum mopane) and even rutting bull moose urine.
Because of advances in instrumentation and methods, some of my past projects deserve revisiting. These include the role of condensed tannin structure on plant defense, induced plant defense (such as with populus and salix species), and mechanisms by which plant secondary metabolites are toxic to herbivores.
- B.S. 1975, University of Alaska Fairbanks
- Ph.D. 1980, Michigan State University
Thomas P. Clausen
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6160