The PUI section is now active!

The new American Society of Plan Biology Primarily Undergraduate Institution section is here! In December the ASPB Council and Board of Directors voted in favor of our proposal to form this new section of the Society. The section will organize and operate under probationary status for the next three years. In that time we need to establish ourselves and our activities. This will be a lot of work, but we are excited about the possibilities. This new section will focus on the needs and interests of plant scientists who are at PUIs, interested in working at a PUI, or are affiliated with PUIs in any way. We hope that describes many of you!

Those of you who are ASPB members should already (or soon) be receiving an email with a link to join the section. But even if you are not currently a member of ASPB, you are able to join the section through the link: By joining, you will have the opportunity to participate in the development of the section. We are hoping for broad contribution to the section’s leadership and activities. Our proposal listed a number of possible activities the section may undertake, but what we can/will do is dependent on the interests and efforts of the membership. This is your opportunity to help craft the direction of an important new branch of the Society!

At the moment, the leadership of the section is ad-hoc (composed of individuals who have organized ASPB PUI activities in the past and who were involved in the proposal). As we move through 2018 there will be processes put in place to recruit and formalize leadership. As a member of the section you will have an opportunity to participate in that (and possibly become part of the leadership yourself). Stay tuned!

As there has been for many years, there will be a PUI workshop at the Society’s annual meeting ( The theme this year is mentoring and we encourage you to register if you’re coming to Montreal. In addition, we are working to organize a PUI section business meeting. Attendance is not mandatory if you’re interested in participating in section activities or leadership, but if you’re coming to the meeting please consider attending. Details will be forthcoming.

Finally, the current leadership team is well aware that attending the Society’s annual meeting is often not possible (for a variety of reasons) for individuals at PUIs. One of our goals is to develop section activities in such a way that they will be available and valuable to the membership even if they cannot attend the annual meeting.

If you have any questions about the new section, please feel free to contact me (Derek) or other members of the current leadership team.

Derek Gingerich (

Leeann Thornton (

Catharina Coenen (

Karen Hicks (

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