President’s Letter: How Should We Speak Up?

Now that we have all had a chance to learn a bit more about the Trump administration and its positions on science, it is time to launch the inevitable conversation about how best to respond. The appointment of Robert F. Kennedy to lead a task force to evaluate the safety of vaccines (Phillip et al., … Read morePresident’s Letter: How Should We Speak Up?

Introducing Plant Direct

As the editor-in-chief, I am excited to introduce Plant Direct (plantdirectjournal.org), a new journal from Wiley and the societies behind Plant Physiology, The Plant Journal, and The Plant Cell. Although there is a crowded landscape of journals to choose from, we believe that Plant Direct fills an unserved role for the plant community. We seek to be the … Read moreIntroducing Plant Direct

New Feature: What We’re Reading

We’re in the midst of lots of changes at ASPB and Plantae. We’ll be launching a new and improved Plantae user interface before the end of the year, and thanks to your excellent feedback we will be launching new features to accompany the new interface (watch this space!). One of these new features is the … Read moreNew Feature: What We’re Reading

Food for thought: Digital farming, Food Computers and OpenAg

There’s a lot of buzz right now about indoor farming. I’m sure you’ve seen photos of fuchsia-illuminated lettuces hydroponically growing in abandoned warehouses, airplane hangars, and disused subway terminals (see for examples here and here and here.)  One of the goals of these programs is to cut the energy costs of food shipping, and another … Read moreFood for thought: Digital farming, Food Computers and OpenAg

Scott Kelly: a small step for a man…ending plant blindness – everywhere

This entry is re-blogged from NASA’s recent post. On Jan. 16, 2016, Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly shared photographs of a blooming zinnia flower in the Veggie plant growth system aboard the International Space Station. Kelly wrote, “Yes, there are other life forms in space! #SpaceFlower #YearInSpace” This flowering crop experiment began on Nov. 16, 2015, … Read moreScott Kelly: a small step for a man…ending plant blindness – everywhere

Solanum watneyi & an Oscar-worthy performance by a plant scientist

Dr. Chris Martine (Bucknell University) discovered a species of Australian bush tomato and named it after Mark Watney, the main character of Hollywood blockbuster, The Martian (based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name). As a scientist dedicated to eliminating society’s tendency toward ‘plant blindness,‘ Chris took this opportunity to trumpet how very non-optional … Read moreSolanum watneyi & an Oscar-worthy performance by a plant scientist

Explore the New York Public Libraries Digital Collections

On January 6, 2016, The New York Public Library enhanced access to all public domain items in its Digital Collections so that everyone has the freedom to enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways (read more about the collection and the ways you can use it here). The images are browsable, searchable, and … Read moreExplore the New York Public Libraries Digital Collections

The International Year of Pulses 2016: Remembering Dr. Joe Smartt

Guest post by Dr. Mike Jackson (bio below). Peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas – and other leguminous species. All are pulses or grain legumes, important crops around the world, adding essential nutritional value to human diets. And, while they’re about it, improving soil fertility through nitrogen fixation. During 2016, pulses will be in the spotlight. … Read moreThe International Year of Pulses 2016: Remembering Dr. Joe Smartt

Best of Plants 2015: Outreach and Communication

The Martian I don’t know if the book/film The Martian will have a lasting impact on plant science, but it certainly added some thrills to the plant scientists’ year. The story features a space-stranded botanist (although some argue he should have been described as a horticulturalist) who had to grow plants to feed himself until … Read moreBest of Plants 2015: Outreach and Communication

Chestnuts featured in #AdventBotany

Last year, Alastair Culham (@BotanyRNG) and Jonathan Mitchley (@Drmgoewild) from the University of Reading teamed up to create a series of blog posts called Advent Botany (advent is the season leading up to Christmas and is traditionally a period of waiting or counting days).  This year Advent Botany 2015 features guest contributions. Today’s post, written … Read moreChestnuts featured in #AdventBotany

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

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 morePlants in the News 13 November 2015: Indonesia on Fire

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

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 moreKeiko Torii wins Japanese Saruhashi Prize

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

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

Plants in the News, October 16 2015: Marvellous Mangroves

This week we feature mangroves, a polyphyletic group of plants that live in tropical intertidal zones. Mangroves are in the news as a consequence of a new paper out in Nature (Lovelock et al., 2015) that describes their great vulnerability to sea-level rise (see also Saintilan et al., 2015).   Mangrove is a term used … Read morePlants in the News, October 16 2015: Marvellous Mangroves

Plants in the News, October 9 2015: Artemisia annua and coral bleaching

The biggest news in plant science is the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Tu Youyou for her discovery and development of the antimalarial drug artemisinin from the plant Artemisia annua. The other half of the prize was shared by Satoshi Ōmura and William C. Campbell for the development avermectins, also … Read morePlants in the News, October 9 2015: Artemisia annua and coral bleaching

Plants in the News, 2 October: Cannabis, entry point to plant science or plant-that-must-not-be-named?

  This week, Nature published an excellent Outlook on cannabis science and policy. How do you feel about cannabis as a topic of discussion in the classroom? I’ve tended to shy away from it – in my experience the benefit of increased interest can be outweighed by the distraction of giggles and jokes. However, this … Read morePlants in the News, 2 October: Cannabis, entry point to plant science or plant-that-must-not-be-named?

Countdown to The Martian

I’m excited to see so many people writing about The Botanist .. er The Martian, including: Alun Salt in AoB Blog (Incidently, Alun wrote about the book back in 2014, inspring me and others to read it), Adam Rutherford in the Guardian, and Chris Martine in HuffPost (who, very coolly, just named a new species … Read moreCountdown to The Martian