PMB News Center

Specht: President of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists

Fostering and promoting education and research in plant taxonomy

Chelsea Specht, an associate professor in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, was just elected President-elect of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. Her term starts September 2017.

Specht is a plant organismal biologist. In addition to her affiliations with PMB, she is also an associate professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Integrative Biology and she is the curator of monocots with the University and Jepson Herbaria, part of the Berkeley Natural History Museums. Specht is also on the Faculty Advisory Committee for the...

Undergraduate in Specht Lab Honored

Shayla Salzman is the lead author of the award-winning paper

American Society of Plant Taxonomists Award

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

The American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) Grady L. Webster Award was recently given to Shayla Salzman, Heather E. Driscoll, Tanya Renner, Thiago André, Stacy Shen and Associate Professor Chelsea Specht for their 2015 paper entitled "Spiraling into History: A Molecular Phylogeny and Investigation of Biogeographic Origins and Floral Evolution for the Genus Costus."

This specific award is the 2016 Grady L. Webster Plant Systematics Publication Award, honoring the best Systematic Botany paper of the year. The paper was was...

2016 American Phytopathological Society ​Award​s

Professor Steve Lindow honored

​ Plant & Microbial Biology Professor Steven Lindow has been ​selected to receive The Award of Distinction, the highest award made ​by the American Phytopathological Society in honor of ​his ​significant contributions to the science of plant pathology.

​Lindow, who is also Executive Associate Dean at the College of Natural Resources, will be honored at their next annual meeting.

Links:

apsnet.org/members/awards/Pages/2016AwardeesAnnounced.aspx

Lindow's PMB Profile

College Campuses Take on Food Waste

Students across the UC system coming together to combat food waste

If you piled up all the perfectly edible food that Americans throw away each day, it would fill the Rose Bowl, twice. Put another way, about 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten – Americans toss out $165 billion worth of food each year.

“It’s a really huge number,” said UC Berkeley graduate student Becky Mackelprang. “Reducing that number could make a very big impact on society.”

At college campuses around the country, students like Mackelprang are at the...

Kris Niyogi Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Kris Niyogi (Photo by Kris Dadacay)

One of the highest honors a scientist can achieve

Kris Niyogi, professor and chair of Plant & Microbial Biology, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors a scientist can achieve.

Niyogi joins five other superstars from UC Berkeley who were also elected May 3, 2016. They include Ian Agol, professor of mathematics; Steven N. Evans, professor of statistics and mathematics; Robert M. Glaeser, emeritus professor; Susan Marqusee, director of QB3; and Peidong Yang, professor of chemistry.

Niyogi studies photosynthetic energy conversion and its regulation in algae...

Department Citation to Outstanding Students

Sather Gate

$500 award each to Noah Gardner and Manraj Sekhon

Manraj Sekhon, a microbial biology undergraduate student, enjoys working in a research lab because it enables him to explore science in a way that "reinforces and enriches the concepts learned in the classroom."

Along with Noah Gardner, Sekhon was awarded the Plant & Microbial Biology Citation in recognition of their outstanding academic work at UC Berkeley. Both students will receive $500 each.

Every year, PMB awards the major citation to the top graduating undergraduate student in Genetics and Plant Biology major and the top...

The Secret Language of Microbes

The fungus Neurospora colonizing a burnt tree in the Lake Tahoo region after a fire (Photo by John Taylor)

N. Louise Glass discovers different dialects

By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley

Fungi communicate by chemical signals only, but they, like humans, appear to use different dialects.

This discovery came from a UC Berkeley study of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, a red bread mold that has been studied in the laboratory for nearly 100 years.

Many fungi, including N. crassa, grow as filaments or hyphae that often fuse to form an interconnected network. Hyphal networks have been shown to be important to many fungi, including the mycorrhizal fungi that form associations...

Matt Traxler, 2016 Searle Scholar

Investigating the role of specialized metabolites in mediating bacterial interactions

Matt Traxler, assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, has been named a 2016 Searle Scholar. The Searle Scholars Program supports the independent research of exceptional young faculty in the biomedical sciences and chemistry.

Traxler will receive $300,000 in flexible funding over the next three years to fund his research investigating the role of specialized metabolites in mediating bacterial interactions. Specialized metabolites include antibiotics, antifungals, and anti-cancer agents. The Traxler lab aims to use knowledge about how these metabolites function...

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors at PMB

berkeley seal

Riva Bruenn, Sydney Glassman honored

Riva Bruenn, one of UC Berkeley's outstanding Graduate Student Instructors for 2016, uses games and inclusion to get students engaged and learning from each other. "Involving the whole class in teaching each lesson engages everyone on different levels, and causes students to accept more of the responsibility of learning," said Bruenn. Along with Graduate Student Sydney Glassman she has been named an outstanding Graduate Student Instrucor (GSI) for the department and the campus. "The students who are furthest ahead take the most active role in teaching, which keeps them...

17th Annual Microbiology Student Symposium

Happening Friday, May 6, 2016; Registration open now

The Microbiology Student Group at UC Berkeley invites you to join us for the 17th Annual Microbiology Student Symposium (MSS) on Friday, May 6, 2016 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. This year, our keynote speakers are Victoria Orphan from Caltech and Micheal Laub from MIT.

The MSS provides a forum for students researching all topics in microbiology to present their research to an engaged group of students, scientists, and members of the general public interested in microbiology. In addition, attendees will have the...

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