The announcement you have been waiting for: the Plant Biology 2021 Worldwide Summit

Are you ready for the Plant Biology 2021 Worldwide Summit?

As we completed the final session of Plant Biology 2020, our thoughts quickly turned to the following year and our excitement about gathering with you in Pittsburgh.  The 2020 Worldwide Summit was a resounding success, with 2,700 participants from 56 countries.  However, all want to return to share that cup of coffee and accompanying conversation while walking from one session to another or enjoying a break.  But, as the months went by that possibility faded as global health issues and travel bans persisted well into 2021. Indeed, in mid-January, ASPB’s Board of Directors recommended that our 2021 Plant Biology Worldwide Summit also go fully virtual.

We recognize that you might be finding it challenging to make choices among the myriad digital content options vying for your time and attention.  And we know you have many conferences to choose from. So for the Plant Biology 2021 Worldwide Summit, we are creating a program that will engage and enhance your participation even more than last year’s meeting.  We listened to your ideas and reviewed your feedback, and we are working to put on a program that retains the best of any annual Plant Biology meeting while adding new features that take advantage of the online venue.

Highlights Unique to Plant Biology 2021 Worldwide Summit

  1. Pre-conference networking. Two weeks prior to the start of the conference, you will be able to access the meeting platform to build your profile and start making connections with attendees and speakers
  2. Customizable engagement opportunities. Each attendee will have their own video chat feature, so you will be able to set up one-on one discussions or small group discussions. Plan ahead to create your own coffee break time!
  3. An innovative poster platform that incorporates one-on-one video chat and the opportunity to feature posters by topic or presenter
  4. Additional networking opportunities for undergraduate students
  5. Discussion sessions following the plenary and concurrent symposia, as well as the poster sessions.
  6. Child Care Subsidies. The ASPB Women in Plant Biology (WIPB) Committee and the ASPB Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee, with support from the Romanoff Fund, will accept applications for grants to help offset the cost of childcare, enabling attendees with dependent children to fully participate in the Plant Biology 2021 Worldwide Summit.  All ASPB members, regardless of country, will be eligible based on need, with the committees giving additional consideration to applications from early career scientists.
  7. Greater accessibility through CART captioning services for all scientific sessions. (See for more information)
  8. More scientific content than in any other Plant Biology meeting, with ample opportunities for discussions with speakers in both plenary and concurrent sessions
  9. Thirty-one interactive workshops put together by organizers from around the world in three key thematic tracks: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Professional Development; Technology and Innovation
  10. More topical hallway hangouts organized by the community.
  11. Short training videos on how to make the most from the platform and your time during the meeting

Features that you love about Plant Biology meetings

  1. Registration discounts for ASPB members; additional discounts for early-bird registration
  2. On-demand content available beyond the dates of the meeting
  3. Ability to search abstracts and posters by  author
  4. Great science – emerging and innovative research areas
  5. Social gatherings – even if virtual
  6. Exhibit hall and sponsor activities – scavenger hunt prizes
  7. Learning more about opportunities for you through ASPB
  8. Seeing old friends and colleagues
  9. And of course – the conference t-shirt
  10. Our superb plenary sessions

For 2021 here are our plenary organizers

  • Maureen McCann, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and ASPB President
  • Kris Niyogi – University of California, Berkeley
  • Xuemei Chen – University of California, Riverside
  • George Kantor, Carnegie Mellon University

Furthermore, we will continue the group rates for small and large groups that were so popular last year.  While the pandemic continues to cause major disruptions, it is also defining the state-of-the-art for holding meetings, and these will redefine what a scientific conference looks like in the post-pandemic world, and we plan on taking advantage of every opportunity offered to ensure our meetings provide the best experience possible for our members and the greater community of plant scientists.


We hope to see you at the Plant Biology 2021 Worldwide Summit. In the meantime, please keep your eye out for more information in your inbox and at; and please follow our hashtag #PlantBio21 on Twitter.


Plant Biology 2021 Program Committee

Wayne Parrot, Chair and ASPB secretary,

Katayoon (Katie) Dehesh, ASPB President-Elect

Stacey Harmer, ASPB Secretary-Elect

Jennifer Lewis

Laura Klasek, Early Career Representative

Jithesh Vijayan, Early Career Representative

Enamul Huq 

Jennifer Lewis

Phil Taylor

Shinhan Shiu

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