Muriel Poston

Current Position
Professor, Environmental Analysis, Pitzer College
Research Associate, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA

Research Interests
Plant systematics, palynology, floristics and biogeography of neotropical groups, specifically Loasaceae; Undergraduate biology education, particularly with respect to underrepresented groups

BSA Service
BSA member: Teaching Section (member); Human Diversity Committee (member); Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on Women and Minorities (2008-10)

Other Service
American Institute of Biological Sciences (Board member: 2009-19; Education Committee Chair: 2010-14; 2018-19); American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section Q (Education); Chair (2018), Steering Committee (2017-19), AAAS Fellow (elected 2013); AAAS Vision and Change, Advisory Board (2009-10); AAC&U Project Kaleidoscope Advisory Committee (2011-16); National Academies, Board of Life Sciences (2006-2012); National Science Foundation: Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (2006-12, Chair: 2010-11), Division of Biological Infrastructure, Division Director (20016-2019), Program Officer (2002-2005), National Science Foundation panelist; Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Overseer (2013-19)

Statement of Interest
As a long time BSA member, I am deeply honored to have been nominated for the position of President-elect. BSA is at a pivotal and transformational point in its history as it addresses the changing nature of research and the population of researchers and students who are engaged in plant science research and education. As a plant systematist, I understand the need for interdisciplinary approaches in order to advance plant science research across multiple disciplinary perspectives. In the face of the rapidly changing and challenging research landscape needed to address issues of climate change, sustainable food resources, or increasing the STEM workforce, access to the tools and technologies that facilitate botanical research and education cannot be ignored. My funding agency experience has helped me to understand the importance of the research infrastructure needed to keep botanical research vibrant and productive. BSA has the potential to include all areas of plant science research in our publications and at the annual meeting and the opportunity to encourage this inclusion would be exciting. As a faculty member who has focused primarily on undergraduate education, I am committed to helping BSA continue to broaden participation of a diverse and inclusive membership. BSA is uniquely positioned to effectively engage a broad constituency in advocating for plant science whether from those citizen scientists participating in a Botany Blitz to those individuals involved in using new identification tools such as iNaturalist. Recognizing the importance of support for both basic and applied botanical research and education and understanding the impact and significance of access to funding is part of the work of a professional society like BSA, and I would be pleased to be able to help lead this effort.