ASPB President’s Update: Your Perspective Matters!

Leeann Thornton
ASPB President (2023-2024)

Dear ASPB members,

My efforts in the past eight months have been focused on understanding the many people involved in carrying out the ASPB mission and looking for ways to build connections and remove barriers to inclusion. ASPB unites us as a community of people who support the growth and development of the field of plant biology and plant scientists. We are an international community that varies in career stage, scientific passions, and lived experiences.

Our scientific endeavors and our professional development are enhanced by communicating our ideas and goals with other plant biologists. A number of us will gather in person for the Plant Biology 2024 conference this month, but an in-person gathering is not possible for many members. I challenge you to seek out at least one thing each month to engage with other ASPB members. Here are a few ideas.

Engage in Governance!

The ballot is open for President-Elect and Secretary-Elect. The four people who have agreed to serve in these elected positions are dedicated to ASPB and carrying out its mission. They have different perspectives and experience that will add to the current Board of Directors. The elected members of ASPB governance and the appointed chairs and committee members want to do what is best for the ASPB as a whole. It is easier when we hear what the members think. Your opinion matters! Take a few minutes to read about the candidates and consider who should serve our society in elected positions. In addition to voting, you can contact committees (send a note to with questions or ideas. If you want to engage in governance, you can apply to be an early career representative or a regular committee member (fill out the committee interest form in your member portal).

Participate in One or More Virtual Components of Plant Biology 2024!

Virtual workshops kicked off last week and continue this week. There will be a symposium with new content in the week of August 5-9. There are a variety of ways to engage with the content.

There are also lots of connections with other plant biologists on Plantae. I have talked to so many people who love being plant biologists. Our community is advancing scientific knowledge and applying it to important problems in our world. I hope you will find “your people” in the ASPB community.

Leeann Thornton
ASPB President




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