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CSHL Associate Professor Zachary Lippman at the Secret Science Club, Brooklyn, NY

Secret Science Club features Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Associate Professor, biologist, tomato aficionado & scientist/farmer Zach Lippman on flower power and the DNA of feeding the world. In the wild, more flowers mean more seeds, more fruit and more food. Zach Lippman thinks flowers—and the genetics that control the timing of flowering—may hold the key to bigger and better bumper crops. A tomato-loving biologist who cultivates 80 tomato varieties in greenhouses at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Dr. Lippman studies the genes and hormones that regulate flower production with the goal of growing more (and tastier) food for a hungry world. Combining old-school plant-breeding with the latest genetic discoveries and a little sleuthing, Dr. Lippman pinpointed a naturally mutated gene in a varietal that—when crossed with a normal tomato plant—produces sweeter tomatoes and 60 percent higher yield.