Tony Contento, Ph.D. is a plant cell physiologist from Central New York. Recently, the ALPF Board of Directors voted to appoint Dr. Contento as the Interim Director of Research. Dr. Contento is also the Interim Director of the State University of New York at Oswego Agricultural Testing and Analysis Laboratory, where he is a member of the Biological Sciences Department. He is also the Program Coordinator for the General Education curriculum for Colorado State University Global Campus. He earned his Doctoral Degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Wyoming, working under Randy Lewis on charactering the structural and mechanical properties of spider silk proteins. While he pursued his studies at UW, he was very active in Student Publications, serving as an assistant Editor for The Branding Iron newspaper and Frontiers magazine. He also served as Editor for the Owen Wister Review literary journal, creating their first spoken word edition.
After graduation, Dr. Contento spent ten years as a research scientist and lecturer at Iowa State University, studying plant stress responses and macroautophagy under Diane Bassham. His research was focused on nutrient, oxidative and osmotic stress in Arabidopsis thaliana. He also pursued a NASA-funded plant gravitropism project and several projects aimed at improving protein content in agricultural crops. Dr. Contento is involved in online education and new forms of instructional delivery; sharing his expertise with institutions like CSU-Global, George Washington University, Drake University, Clemson University and Florida State College at Jacksonville. At SUNY Oswego, he works with the Port of Oswego and local farmers to improve agricultural testing standards in New York State. He teaches cell biology and genetics, and his current laboratory research is focused on improving post-harvest agricultural technology and water security. He spends his free time with his wife and two children and working with the Boy Scouts of America and the Knights of Columbus. Dr. Contento enjoys hiking, kayaking, cinema, and writing fiction and screenplays.