Student Research: Fall 2015 Update

ASPB collaborates with, a learning community where scientists provide online mentoring to student teams in middle school through undergraduate settings so students can design and think through their own inquiry projects. Scroll to the end of this post for an impressive list of who is doing what. The fall 2015 online meeting space was … Read more

Our STEM Workforce and The Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education Summit

New visions and multi-faceted collaborations to creatively, efficiently, and collaboratively remaster STEM higher education and its K-12 pipeline. The Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education Summit presented by the STEMconnector® Higher Education Council and sponsored by Cengage Learning, myCollegeOptions®, and Monsanto was a dynamic event aimed at advancing a national (US) effort to meet the education … Read more

Plants in the News: Help us identify 2015’s Plant Science Highlights

Normally, our Friday posts highlight plants featured in the news over the past week, but this week we take a short break to make an appeal for your thoughts on the most notable and newsworthy plant-related events, resources, breakthroughs and headline makers of the past year. Here are the stories we featured last year as … Read more

Meet the litter trappers

Plants that do the unexpected or that don’t conform to stereotype command attention and serve as portals to the diversity of the plant kingdom. Litter-trapping plants have an unusual and interesting strategy for obtaining nutrients. Zona and Christenhusz (2015), writing in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, describe plants that have evolved specialized adaptations … Read more

Plants in the News 13 November 2015: Indonesia on Fire

Recent fires in Indonesia have been making headlines around the world and raising concerns about their impacts on wildlife, global carbon emissions and health problems for local people. Fires have been a recurring problem for many years, but this year they are exacerbated by drought conditions caused by a strong El Niño event. Since September … Read more

Supporting the Pipeline: K-12 STEM Educators

It’s critical to consider the education of those who will teach STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in the K-12 pipeline. One resource for supporting the development of effective STEM teachers is UTeach. Here is an overview from their About page: UTeach is an innovative university-based teacher preparation program working to increase the number of qualified … Read more

Metabolism: The final frontier

Metabolism is a widely-used term. It is used colloquially, as in, “My metabolism slowed down once I hit 40,” a usage that considers metabolism as a black box and focuses on its energetic inputs and outputs. Or, there’s the single-reaction view of metabolism, as in, “He doesn’t metabolize alcohol very well.” This view underpins the … Read more

Petition: Scientists in Support of GMO Technology for Crop Improvement

Dear  Colleagues, As you know, there is substantial fear of GMO technology both within commercial and public spheres. Recently, companies like Chipotle and initiatives such as the Non-GMO Project (representing over 4,500 non-GMO brands) have cited a petition of 300 scientists that claim there is no consensus regarding the scientific safety of GMOs. A group of scientists and myself have organized a petition … Read more

President’s Letter: A Lot to Think About

It’s amazing how quickly my year as president-elect of ASPB has passed, and I now find myself writing my first President’s Letter. I echo the words of my predecessor, Julian Schroeder, when I say that it is truly an honor to serve this important Society. It is also a somewhat daunting experience. Before becoming president-elect, … Read more

Generation Agriculture: Who Will Feed the World in the Next Generation?

As noted in and blogged with permission from Friday Notes, CAST: Reports, surveys, loud headlines–Who Will Feed the Nine Billion? After observing young people in FFA, at the World Food Prize, in university activities, and at many other occasions, we have confidence that Generation Agriculture will rise to the occasion. In the meantime, the stories … Read more

Recognizing Our Authors: Casal, Ori, Gruissem, and Bressan

This post is part of the Recognizing our Authors series. Jorge Casal The Plant Cell, Plant Physiology Jorge Casal undertook his early studies at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), where he completed his MSc in 1987, before moving to the University of Leicester (UK) where he completed his PhD in 1989. He is now professor at UBA, … Read more

Plants in the News 6 November 2015: Pineapple, Ananas comosus

This week we celebrate pineapples, in honor of the completion of the sequencing of the pineapple (Ananas comosus) genome and the insights it provides into an important metabolic pathway (Ming et al., 2015). Pineapples are more than just tasty tropical fruit, they’re also one of many plants able to carry out a special form of … Read more

Industrial chemistry, prepare to be biohacked*

*Note that we use the term biohacking as it has been used since 1988 to refer to DIY biology (Strange, 1988). More recently biohacking has been used also to refer to strategies to enhance the human body through wearable technology and nutritional supplements. Imagine a typical industrial process – say the production of gasoline or … Read more

Keiko Torii wins Japanese Saruhashi Prize

Keiko Torii, professor of biology at the University of Washington (UW), chief editor of The Arabidopsis Book, and a member of the editorial board of Plant Physiology, was recently awarded the 35th annual Saruhashi Prize, given each year to a female researcher in Japan who works in the natural sciences. The prize recognizes both exceptional … Read more

Teaching with Wikipedia: collective intelligence, epistemology, digital literacy, and addressing bias

To support ASPB’s ongoing partnership with Wiki Edu (see this blogpost) and encourage the successful adoption of Wiki Edu resources, here is some hard-earned insight on what works (and what needs work) when you are… Teaching (more than just) writing with Wikipedia Original post by Eryk Salvaggio Zach McDowell, who has taught with Wikipedia at the … Read more

NYT Publishes ASPB Response to 10/24 Article on European GMO Policies

The New York Times published the following letter to the editor from ASPB on October 30, 2015.  ASPB’s letter was in response to the October 24th article by Mark Lynas, the political director for the Cornell Alliance for Science.  In his piece, Lynas laments that due to “Europe’s Coalition of the Ignorant, we are witnessing … Read more

Bring the voice of science to improve US biotechnology regulation

The White House Office has announced a major effort to update the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and they are seeking comments to inform the revisions. Because the federal comment website can be cumbersome, we will collect your comments here and submit them on your behalf. Your comments will become part of the … Read more

Plants in the News, October 30 2015: Oxford Plants 400

The 400th anniversary of the founding of plant science at Oxford will be celebrated on July 25 2021 (see its history). As a celebration and count-down to this anniversary, the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum, together with the Oxford University Herbaria and the Department of Plant Sciences, are highlighting 400 plants of … Read more

Plants in the News, October 23 2015: Booo-tany

  Tired of the same old Halloween decorations? Maybe you’re ready for Booo-tany! There are plenty of plants that embody spooky themes, and what could be cooler than dressing up as a corpse flower or parasitic dodder? (If you do, send photos….). Here we highlight just a few of the Booo-tanical wonders to inspire your … Read more