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ASPB names 2012 award recipients

ROCKVILLE, MD. -- The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2012 awards, honoring excellence in research, education, outreach, and service.

Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award

Andrew Hanson, University of Florida, Gainesville

Established in 1925, the Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Awards is ASPB's oldest award, honoring lifelong service in plant biology. Hanson, this year's honoree, is recognized for his unique and multifaceted contributions to plant biology, his exemplary use of comparative genomics approaches to deepen our understanding of plant metabolic pathways, and his research in the areas of folate biosynthesis and biofortification.

Stephen Hales Prize

Ian Sussex, Yale University

Established in 1927, the Stephen Hales Prize is among the Society's oldest and most prestigious awards; it honors exceptional research accomplishments and service to ASPB. Sussex is recognized for over 60 years of outstanding seminal contributions to diverse areas of plant development research. He is particularly esteemed for his work on embryo lethal mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana, work that helped convince plant researchers that Arabidopsis is a potent model organism. The recipient of the Hales Prize delivers a lecture at the following year's ASPB annual meeting, so Sussex will speak at Plant Biology 2013 in Providence, RI.

Charles F. Kettering Award

Stephen Long, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Established in 1962 by an endowment from the Kettering Foundation, the Charles F. Kettering Award recognizes excellence in the field of photosynthesis. Long has earned this year's award for his many seminal discoveries of the responses of photosynthesis to changes in the physical environment as well as the role of photosynthesis in mitigating climate change. Most recently, he and collaborators are developing plants as renewable sources of liquid fuel and addressing the social, economic, and ethical dimensions of allocating part of the food-producing landscape to the production of fuel.

Charles Albert Shull Award

Elizabeth Ainsworth, USDA/ARS; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Created in 1971, the Charles Albert Shull Award recognizes young researchers for outstanding contributions to plant biology in mid-career. Ainsworth is recognized for her impressive scholarship, which she also incorporates into her teaching and service. Her pioneering research on current and potential impacts of global and environmental change on both natural and managed plant ecosystems is widely appreciated. The recipient of the Shull Award delivers a lecture at the following year's ASPB annual meeting, so Ainsworth will speak at Plant Biology 2013 in Providence, RI.

Dennis R. Hoagland Award

Mary Lou Guerinot, Dartmouth College

The Dennis R. Hoagland Award honors Hoagland's contributions and leadership in plant mineral nutrition. Guerinot received this year's award for her seminal contributions to the field of iron nutrition, work that has revolutionized our understanding of the uptake, long-distance transport, and distribution of iron to subcellular compartments, as well as iron deficiency signaling pathways in plants.

Excellence in Education Award

Peggy G. Lemaux, University of California, Berkeley

The Excellence in Education Award recognizes outstanding, teaching, mentoring, and educational outreach in plant biology. Lemaux is recognized for her outstanding contributions as a plant biology educator and educational leader and for her internationally known outreach program to promote a better public understanding of the benefits and risks of agricultural biotechnology. Lemaux's ongoing activities allow consumers, farmers, public opinion leaders, and government officials to make informed decisions about biotechnology issues.

Early Career Award

Michael Nodine, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

The Early Career Award was instituted in 2005 to recognize outstanding research by scientists at the beginning of their career. Nodine is recognized for his exceptional contributions and creativity in plant embryogenesis and seed biology research, particularly with respect to the function of micro RNAs and the timing of the maternal-zygotic transition in plants.

Lawrence Bogorad Award

Wolf Frommer, Carnegie Institution of Washington

The Lawrence Bogorad Award is made biennially to a plant scientist whose work both illuminates the present and suggests paths to enlighten the future. Frommer is recognized for his major contributions in the development of fundamental tools and technologies essential for breakthrough discoveries that advance our understanding of glucose, sucrose, ammonium, amino acid, and nucleotide transport in plants.

Robert Rabson Award

Yuki Tobimatsu, University of WisconsinMadison

This award, made for the first time this year, recognizes Bob Rabson's steadfast advocacy for plant biology through the creation of funding programs in the Department of Energy for research in basic energy sciences. Tobimatsu is recognized for his exceptional work, thoughtful independent analysis, and effective collaborations in the areas of lignin biosynthesis and cell wall biochemistry.

ASPB Leadership in Science Public Service Award

Peter Raven, Missouri Botanical Garden (President Emeritus)

The ASPB Public Affairs Committee awards the ASPB Leadership in Science Public Service Award annually to recognize individuals who have advanced the mission of ASPB and its members through significant contributions to plant science and public policy leadership. Raven is known world-wide for his work as a conservationist and botanist. Although now retired, he served as the president of the Missouri Botanical Garden for four decades. Raven has been recognized for his achievements though numerous awards. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and served on the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. He will speak as part of the awards symposium at Plant Biology 2012 in Austin this July.

ASPBPioneer Hi-Bred Graduate Student Fellowship

Jessica Rutkoski, Cornell University

The ASPBPioneer Hi-Bred Graduate Student Fellowship is made possible by the generosity of Pioneer Hi-Bred International and recognizes and encourages innovative graduate research in areas of plant biology that relate to important commodity crops. Rutkoski is a Ph.D. student in Mark Sorrells' laboratory in the Plant Breeding graduate program at Cornell University. Her dissertation research focuses on stem rust in wheat, a devastating disease caused by the pathogen Puccinia graminis. Jessica's goal is to develop wheat varieties that have quantitative resistance to stem rust, which has the potential to be much more durable than single-gene resistance.

Fellow of ASPB Award

Judy Callis, University of California, Davis
Karen Koch, University of Florida
Danny Schnell, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Elizabeth Vierling, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Eleanore Wurtzel, Lehman College, The City University of New York

Established in 2007, the Fellow of ASPB Award is granted in recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the Society by current members in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach, and professional and public service. This prestigious honor may be granted to no more than 0.2% of the current membership each year.

Corresponding Membership Award Nominees

Frank Gubler, CSIRO Plant Industry Canberra (Australia)
Agepati Srinivasa Raghavendra, University of Hyderabad (India)

First given in 1932, the Corresponding Membership Award honors up to three distinguished plant biologists residing outside the United States with life membership in ASPB. Gubler and Raghavendra have been nominated for the Corresponding Membership Award. Corresponding Members are elected by the ASPB membership, so these nominees' names have been placed on the 2012 Election Ballot.

The 2012 ASPB awards will be formally presented during the opening session of Plant Biology 2012, ASPB's annual meeting, which will be held July 20-24 in Austin, Texas.


Contact: Kathy Munkvold
American Society of Plant Biologists

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