Recognizing pathogens, and recognizing errors

This week’s Research in Focus article has two take-home messages. The first is about how an important plant pathogen is recognized by its host: specifically, the role of a newly-identified tyrosine-sulfated bacterial protein. The second is about the process of science and the foundation of trust on which it rests: specifically, how to proceed when … Read more

Balticon 49: What do fairies and elves need to know about plant science?

Sex, maize and how to feed the world (despite herbicide tolerance) Balticon 49 – Established in 1967, Balticon is the annual convention sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. This year’s version (May 22-25) offered everything surrounding science fiction including comic books, movies, kids’ programs, the presentation of the prestigious “Robert A. Heinlein” and the … Read more

3rd International Fascination of Plants Day: Monday May 18th

This year’s Fascination of Plants Day, a plant scientists’ initiative launched in 2012, has been already adopted by 54 countries worldwide. All information about this initiative can be accessed via and is supported world-wide by a network of National Coordinators who voluntarily promote and disseminate the activity within their countries. Already over 509 scientific … Read more

2015 Women’s Young Investigator Travel Award Winner: Andrea Eveland

We are pleased to announce that Andrea Eveland has received one of our seven Women’s Young Investigator Travel Awards.  Andrea is an Assistant Member and Principal Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.  She is currently working on four collaborative proposals, which she anticipates submitting for federal funding within the next few months.  In addition, Andrea is … Read more

Several Distinguished Plant Scientists Elected to National Academy of Sciences 2015 Class

We are pleased to announce that several distinguished plant scientists – most of them members of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) – have been elected as members or foreign associates of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Three members of the … Read more

President’s Letter

Time to Speak Up It is an honor to be elected your new president and to work in support of our common goals. It has been a productive year as president-elect, and it is a pleasure to share timely thoughts with you here. No question: This is an exciting time to be a plant scientist. … Read more

World Champions Need Plant Biology

No grass? No Wimbledon, World Cup, worldwide golf or baseball According to, “sports and athletic field grasses must have dense, thick sod, be able to withstand impact and have the ability to repair quickly…Each seed mixture is used for the desired traits that are dominant to its variety and whether it grows well with … Read more

Research-led teaching opportunities for early career researchers

Recently, I was invited to attend a workshop at the University of Exeter, organized by George Littlejohn*, Tom Howard and Lizzy Dridge, a post-doctoral Research Fellow in Professor Nick Talbot’s group, Independent Research Fellow and Associate Lecturer respectively. The aims of the workshop were to help Early-Career Researchers (ECRs: e.g., graduate students and post-docs) make best … Read more

The Perks of Being a Scientist: Attending Plant Biology Meetings

I attended my first Plant Biology Meeting as a graduate student– and I was in awe. So many people, and I didn’t know a soul. It was scary and I thought I would drown in anonymity. And I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of scientific presentations. That changed very quickly though when my … Read more