Joseph H. Williams

Current Position
Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee (UTK).

Research Interests
Evolution of plant reproduction; Gametophyte development and performance; Polyploidy; Plant mating systems.

BSA Service
Esau Award committee (2008-2010, Chair 2010); Associate Editor, American Journal of Botany (2012-present); Program director, Developmental and Structural section (2012-2015); Symposium Organizer, BOTANY 2015: The Ecology and Evolution of Pollen Performance; Webster award committee (2013 and 2015); BSA Treasurer (2013-2016); Pelton Award committee member (2014-2019; Chair 2017-2019); Acting Chair, BSA ad hoc Committee on Publisher Selection (2016-2017); Committee for Inaugural Kaplan Graduate Research Awards (2019-present).

Other Service
NSF panel member and reviewer (IOS, DEB, others); Associate Editor for AoB Plants, Plant Reproduction (current) and Scientific Reports (Plant Sciences section, 2011-2015); Director of Graduate Studies, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UTK (2015-2018); Founding Board member of Tennessee Plant Research Center, UTK (2009-present). Mini-course in Evolution of Development of Plant Reproduction taught at two Brazilian Universities (Campinas, 2009; Natal, 2018).

Statement of Interest
I’m an organismal biologist at heart. Like many, I was first attracted to biology via organismal, field-oriented courses, but then chased research questions into the lab and computer. During my career, academia gradually moved away from organism-centered disciplines, and I valued the BSA’s niche as a reservoir for the organismal perspective. The BSA has been a real leader in community building among researchers and educators at all biological levels, and on the National and International stage. I’ve been involved in many facets of the BSA, and I believe I can play a creative role in advancing the goals of the Society as new challenges arise. Some of these challenges will undoubtedly be related to protecting the Society during economic downturn and maintaining the value and visibility of science in public discourse.