Botany 2012 Featured Speakers

Plenary Speaker

Peter Crane"Respecting the Past and Embracing the Future: Envisioning Botany in the Next Generation"

Sir Peter Crane
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University

Professor Sir Peter Crane FRS is Carl W. Knobloch Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University.  His work focuses on the diversity of plant life - its origin, fossil history, current status, conservation and use.  From 1982 he was at the Field Museum in Chicago and in the 1990s had overall responsibility for the Museum's scientific programmes. In 1999 he was appointed Director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He returned to Chicago in 2006 as the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor at The University of Chicago, before being appointed at Yale in 2009.


Enhancing Diversity in Plant Biology Luncheon

Zavala"Planting the seeds of diversity to reap a harvest of scientists"

Maria Elena Zavala
Professor of Biology
California State University, Northridge
CSU Trustee Wang Professor
GRIF Professor

Maria Elena Zavala is a Professor of Biology at California State University, Northridge (CSUN).  She and her lab group study plant development particularly roots. She initiated the Minority Access to Research Careers Undergraduate Science Training in Academic Research (MARC U*STAR), Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) and Bridges to the Ph.D programs at CSUN.  She directs the MARC U*STAR and MBRS programs.  The Ford Foundation, National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health have funded her research efforts.  She is interested in educational equity issues and has worked on projects to improve science education for k-12 students and to increase the participation of women in science.  She has served on NIH advisory boards, a NIH panel, and reviewed proposals for the NSF, NIH, and USDA.  She is member of the ASCB minority affairs committee and is the chair of the minority affairs committee for the American Society for Plant Biologists.  She is the first Chicana to earn a Ph.D. in Botany in the US.  She was a recipient of Presidential Award Excellence for Science, Mathematics, Engineering Mentoring awarded to her by William Jefferson Clinton and is a Fellow of the AAAS.


American Journal of Botany Special Lecture

Gar W. RothwellGar Rothwell
Distinguished Professor
Environmental and Plant Biology
Ohio University
Courtesy Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology
Oregon State University

Descent with Modification; uniting paleontology and molecular genetics to integrate pattern and process in plant evolution.

Regional Botany Special Lecture

Jim Mc CormacJim McCormac
Ohio Division of Wildlife

Wild Ohio: The Best of our Natural Heritage

Based on a book authored by Jim, (Kent State University Press 2009), with imagery by Gary Meszaros, this lecture will be is a photographic journey through the best remaining places in the Buckeye State. From southern haunts bordering the Ohio River to lakeshore habitats buffering Lake Erie, Ohio is filled with wild landscapes. We’ll look at some of the creatures and plants that make these sites so special, and the global role Ohio plays in conservation.

Jim works for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, specializing in nongame wildlife diversity issues, especially birds. Prior to that, he was a botanist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. He was inaugural president of the Ohio Ornithological Society, and served for seven years as secretary of the Ohio Bird Records Committee. Jim was the 2009 recipient of the Ludlow Griscom award, given annually by the American Birding Association to individuals who have made significant regional contributions to ornithology. He is author of Birds of Ohio (Lone Pine 2004); The Great Lakes Nature Guide (Lone Pine 2009); and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage (Kent State University Press 2009). The latter won the 2010 Ohioana Book award. Jim writes a column, Nature, for the Columbus Dispatch, and has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific and popular articles in a variety of publications. He is at work on a book about wood-warblers, which is slated for release in 2013.


Kaplan Memorial Lecture

Dr. Larry PetersonDr. R. Larry Peterson
Professor Emeritus of the University of Guelph

Dr. R. Larry Peterson FRSC, is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph, Ontario.  He spent his entire career at this same institution and started as an Assistant Professor of Botany in 1968.  Dr. Peterson has published 240 papers in refereed journals, 18 book chapters, and co-authored or co-edited 4 books.  He has received many awards including Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, two George Lawson Medals from the Canadian Botanical Association, and both Teaching Excellence and Distinguished Professor Awards from his home institution.  Dr. Peterson has held various offices in the Canadian Botanical Association, including President and was the editor of the Canadian Journal of Botany (now Botany) from 1999-2011. He was the first President of the International Mycorrhiza Society established in 2006.

In this talk, Dr. Peterson will summarize the significance and variations in mycorrhizal associations.  He will concentrate on the coordinated development between the symbiotic partners in establishing nutrient exchange interfaces. In endomycorrhizas this interface includes a host- derived membrane (perifungal membrane) and an interfacial matrix separating the fungal symbiont  from the host cell’s cytoplasm. The composition of the latter varies depending on mycorrhizal category and its deposition is facilitated by the cytoskeleton.  Wall modifications in both symbionts occur during colonization.

After the lecture - Join the Kaplan Memorial Lecture - Cocktail Reception (a ticketed event)