Behind the scenes with In Defense of Plants author Matt Candeias

While updating the materials for upcoming workshops (Nottingham and Potsdam next month) on careers, communication and writing, I asked Matt Candeias, author of the popular blog In Defense of Plants how he got started and if he has any advice to those considering blogging.  Here are his replies. I started In Defense of Plants as … Read more

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 more

Plant Biology 2016: Publishing workshops

Attending Plant Biology 2016? The conference starts in six months, but if you want your work to be considered for a minisymposium or lightning talk, you need to submit your abstract now (or by 25 Jan, EST). You can read more about the conference, including major symposia topics and speakers, and the countless networking opportunities … Read more

President’s Letter: Service and Recognition in Our Society

On the front page of the November/December issue of the ASPB News, alongside my first President’s Letter, was an exhortation to “On your mark, get set…nominate!” ASPB currently has about 4,000 members and is hoping to greatly increase this number thorough its new Plantae portal. It is really important that members feel they are part … Read more

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 more

Undergraduate Science Writing Impact: Why & How with Wiki Edu

Early in 2015, ASPB established a partnership with Wiki Edu. This post features some simple, yet critical details for understanding and using Wiki Edu to help your students think and write more effectively about plant science. The insights shared here come from  Barbara Alonso (photo), Lab Manager for the Lemaux Lab at University of California-Berkeley. … Read more

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 more

Dealing with arsenic – an investigation with undergraduates

Guest post from Sonja Dunbar, PhD student at the University of Cambridge Plants need nutrients and they have a lot of different ways to acquire them from the soil, as the 2nd year undergraduate students I teach at the University of Cambridge recently discovered in lectures. One thing our lecture courses try to emphasise at … 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

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

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

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

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

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 more

Winning entries of the August 2015 “Teaching Tools Proposal” competition

We had many excellent proposals submitted for the second round of the the “Teaching Tools in Plant Biology” competition, from which we selected two for further development. The competition has one additional submission deadline December 31 2015, and full details can be found at http://blog.aspb.org/2015/03/02/share-your-enthusiasm-teaching-tools-submission-competition/. Here are the two winning proposals and their authors from … Read more

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 more

Plants in the News, September 11 2015

This week’s episode has the theme of “Videos”. There are not enough good videos about plant science, but there’s a lot of talent out there, how about making an engaging video as your outreach project for the year? To get you started, here’s a video from the Eden Channel about how to make a great … Read more

Using Narrative for Outreach (Part 2/2)

By Dana D’Amico In my last entry, I left off with discussion of the difficulties scientists face in establishing public trust, particularly when it comes to contentious issues like GM food safety. I suggested experimenting with methods of communication that emphasize common values and experiences alongside factual evidence. Today I’ll explore how the narrative, or … Read more

Lights, camera, action! Prepare for a botanist to take center stage!

“The Martian” opens October 2. Why should you care? Because it is one of the most-anticipated movies of the year and it features a botanist, played by Matt Damon, in the lead role. Here’s the trailer. Botanists have appeared in big films previously; Laura Dern’s character in Jurassic Park (1993) was a paleobotanist, which is … Read more