Sterling Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Director of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, Yale University
Phylogenetic botany, with an emphasis on character evolution, biogeography, and the intersection of evolution and ecology; Viburnum and Dipsacales
I represent the BSA on the Steering Committee of the NSF-funded Plant Science Research Network (2015- ), and have served on the BSA Distinguished Fellow Selection Committee (2019). I have published 17 papers in the American Journal of Botany, and have regularly served as a reviewer. I have organized several BSA Symposia, including “Phytogeography of the Northern Hemisphere” (with P. Manos), and have presented talks in multiple BSA symposia (e.g., on homology, on botany in the curriculum). In 2014, I was selected as a Distinguished Fellow of the Botanical Society of America.
I served as President of the Society of Systematic Biologists (1993-96), and as a Councilor of the Society of Systematic Zoology and of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. I have served on the Editorial Boards of multiple journals, including Evolution, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and The American Naturalist. I served on the Steering Committee and as Co-Chair of Systematics Agenda 2000 (1991-95), as Vice Chair of DIVERSITAS (2002-09) and Co-Chair of bioGENESIS (2006-09), on the Advisory Committee of the National Ecological Observatory Network (2009-2014), and the NSF’s Biological Science Advisory Committee (2009-12). I served as Director of the Harvard University Herbaria (1995-99), and at Yale as Director of the Peabody Museum of Natural History (2003-08), the Vice President for West Campus Development (2008-10), and Director of the Marsh Botanical Garden (2015-18). Currently, I am the Director of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies (2019 - ). I received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University (2005), and was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2005) and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2008). I received the Dahlgren Prize in Botany from the Royal Physiographic Society, Sweden (2011), and the Asa Gray Award of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists (2017). I have mentored 28 graduate students and 33 postdoctoral associates.
Statement of Interest:
I feel badly that I have done much more for other organizations than I have for the BSA, even though the BSA has been central to my identity as a scientist and the development of my career. I would love the opportunity to give back to the Society, and would embrace the role of President and do everything that I can to support the full range of ongoing activities and to further expand our scientific and societal impacts. This seems more critical than ever in view of the biodiversity crisis, climate change, and the critical need for fact-based scientific inputs in the US and around the world. I am especially concerned about conserving plant diversity and raising awareness of plants in our schools and in society at large. And, at a time when our government is backing away from international engagements, we need to fight even harder to ensure that the plant sciences remain a thriving global enterprise.