Congratulations to the 36 graduate students and 58 undergraduates recognized by SIPS as part of the 2019 Commencement Ceremonies. Graduates included five PhD students in the Field of Plant Biology in addition to the many undergraduates advised and mentored by Section faculty.
Eight SIPS graduate students have been awarded predoctoral fellowships from the USDA NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. Among them are Daniel Evanich in the Giovannoni program, whose thesis research focuses on understanding contributions of DNA demethylation to tomato ripening.
Twelve individuals and three groups were recognized with President's Awards for Employee Excellence Nov. 13, which honored staff members in five new categories including the first-ever team award, emphasizing the collaborative nature of work at Cornell.
Elena Michel, graduate student in the SIPS Plant Biology Section, received an award for Excellence in Leadership, given to students or groups/organizations that have shown a consistent and sustained ability to improve the graduate and professional student experience through leadership activities.
The Mid- Career Maize Genetics Award will be given to an individual that has been in a permanent
position for 9-20 years. The winner will have an outstanding track record of discovery research in maize (or
related species) genetics. The 2018 Awardee is Mike Scanlon at Cornell University.
Speaking with characteristic clarity and good humor, Karl Niklas presented an overview of his 45 years modeling plant evolution to a standing room audience during the Plant Biology Seminar on Friday, March 23.
Last night the Victoria lily (Victoria x ‘Longwood Hybrid’) in the water feature in the Palm House began its dramatic two-day flower display.
Gaurav won the prestigious Early Career Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists
Mar 21, 2018
Congratulations to Gaurav for this well-deserved award.
This Early Career Award was instituted by ASPB in 2005 to recognize outstanding research by scientists at the beginnings of their careers. This award is a monetary award made annually for exceptionally creative, independent contributions by an individual, whether or not a member of the Society, who is generally not more than seven years post-Ph.D. on January 1st of the year of the presentation.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station greenhouse growers Paul Cooper, Josh Manser and Laurence Walsh teamed up to move a Victoria lily (Victoria x ‘Longwood Hybrid’) started from seed by horticulture graduate student Miles Schwartz-Sax.
Wendy Wolford, the Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Professor of Global Development in the Department of Development Sociology and Vice Provost for International Affairs, brought students from her Social Life of Land (DSOC 6620) class for a tour of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory February 22.
A new exhibition now on display in Albert R. Mann Library, “A Sweep of Light: Scanner Photography and the Art of Horticulture,” shows the intricate beauty of plants in images by contributing artists and students.
A million or more people in the United States suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but remarkably little is known about the cause of the disease, and effective therapies are lacking. Specific projects tackle oxidative stress in the brain and neuroinflammation; inflammatory molecules, metabolism, and the cargo of extracellular vesicles; and levels of gene dysregulation across the immune system. With this multifaceted approach, the team seeks to enhance knowledge of the disease for patients, health professionals, and the public.
Eric Hoffman, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at Binghamton University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceautical Sciences has been appointed Adjunct Professor in the SIPS Plant Biology Section.
Congratulations James Giovannoni for being one of six of the most influential contemporary scientists in the world for 2017!
Jan 25, 2018
Six CALS researchers are among the most influential contemporary scientists in the world for 2017. Reuters and Clarivate Analytics assembled the list by identifying the scientists whose publications are in the top 1 percent in their fields for journal citations. James Giovannoni, adjunct professor, SIPS Jean-Luc Jannink, adjunct professor, SIPS Johannes Lehmann, professor, SIPS Ruth Ley, associate professor, Department of Microbiology Rui Hai Liu, professor, Department of Food Science Mark Sorrells, professor, SIPS
Several specimens of Angraecum sesquipedale, also known as Darwin’s orchid, Christmas orchid, and Star of Bethlehem orchid, are currently blooming or poised to bloom in the Conservatory. They are expected to continue to pump out flowers possibly until the end of the month.
In a Dec. 16 ceremony in Barton Hall, President Martha E. Pollack encouraged December graduates to have a positive impact on the world, suggesting they "Start with compassion. Start with understanding. Start with kindness and with love.”
On Oct. 30, Dean Kathryn J. Boor presented the Core Value Staff Award for Inclusiveness to Andy Vail in a ceremony celebrating research, extension and staff excellence. A senior administrator in the School of Integrative Plant Science, Vail recently celebrated twenty-one years of service at Cornell.
Recently hired SIPS faculty members Gaurav Moghe (Plant Biology Section), John Wallace (Horticulture Section), and Awais Khan (Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section) along with Patrick O’Grady, recent hire in the Department of Entomology, toured the Geneva campus on October 19
Last night — for the third time in a little more than a week — the Victoria lily (Victoria x ‘Longwood Hybrid’) in the water feature in the Palm House began its dramatic two-day flower display. But currently there are no other flower buds showing. So this might be your last chance to witness this plant’s spectacular bloom for a while.
The Victoria lily (Victoria x ‘Longwood Hybrid’) in the water feature in the Palm House began its dramatic two-day flower display last night. And there is another flower bud poised to open, likely in the next week.
What is your life mission? Do you have the skills to achieve your long term goals? Are you making time to work on tasks that are important but not urgent? These are some of the questions posed by Carolee Bull during the “How to be your own best mentor” workshop attended by SIPS graduate students and postdocs on Tuesday, October 10.
The National Institutes of Health announced Sept. 27 that Cornell is one of three institutions nationwide to receive funding to establish a collaborative research center for the study of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Each center will serve as a hub that partners with other institutions to study the disease.
A reception was held on Friday September 29 to welcome our six most recently hired faculty, including Awais Khan (Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section), Ying Sun (Soil and Crop Sciences Section), Chelsea Specht (Plant Biology Section), Gaurav Moghe (Plant Biology Section), Kelly Robbins (Plant Breeding and Genetics Section), and John Wallace (Horticulture Section).
What do squash beetles, cold hardiness genes, and plastoglobule kinases have in common? All three are addressed by graduate student projects recently funded through the Schmittau-Novak Small Grants Program.
The National Institutes of Health announced Sept. 27 that Cornell is one of three institutions nationwide to receive funding to establish a collaborative research center for the study of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
Students from the Plants and People course (BioPl 2470) traveled to the Geneva campus on September 12, accompanied by teaching assistant Camila Martinez, post-doctoral associate Nathan Jud, and instructor Maria Gandolfo.
With berries, hops, weeds, succulents, and baskets overflowing with produce, SIPS was a significant presence at the CALS Commons “Street Fair” following the inauguration of Cornell President Martha Pollack.
Several Cornell faculty affiliated with the School of Integrative Plant Science traveled to Shenzhen China in July for the International Botanical Congress (IBC), the largest international conference in the fields related to plant sciences.
Karl Niklas, the Liberty Hyde Bailey professor in the Plant Biology Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, explained what make Titan arums stink in a segment of WBNG News yesterday. Watch.
Carolus, one of Cornell's Titan arums, has broken dormancy and is preparing to bloom this summer in Minns Garden. It's believed to be the first time a Titan arum has bloomed outside in a temperate region.
Carolus’ – one of two flowering-sized Titan arums (Amorphophallus titanum) in the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory’s collection – has broken dormancy and is preparing to bloom this summer. But instead of unfurling its pungent inflorescence in the confines of the Conservatory, this year’s flowering will take place outside in Minns Garden, between the Plant Science Building and Tower Road.
The Plant Biology Section is proud to announce that the 2017 Katherine Esau Award was given to Mónica R. Carvalho for her paper entitled The Hydraulic Architecture of Ginkgo Leaves presented during the 2017 annual meeting of the Botanical Society of America (BSA).
There are many ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice. Some honored the season with cut-throat rounds of bingo. Toni DiTommaso welcomed summer winning a gift certificate from Pesco’s Barber Shop! For everyone at Wednesday’s 2017 SIPS Picnic, the event was an opportunity for good food, games, fun prizes, and conversation.
Cornell alumni, some visiting campus for the first time since creation of SIPS and opening of the new Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory, had an opportunity to learn more during the midday Botany and Plant Sciences Alumni gathering on Saturday June 10.
Cornell is No. 14 among the world's universities in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, released June 7. That is two spots up from last year's ranking of No. 16. And it is up five rungs from its No. 19 ranking in 2015.
Michael J. Scanlon, Plant Biology, spends his days looking for the answer to a fundamental scientific question: how do plant organs and plant parts become patterned, that is, distinct from each other?
Congratulations Class of 2017!
May 30, 2017
Dean Kathryn Boor and CALS Class of 2017 Degree Marshals Jeremy Pardo (Plant Sciences, left) and Nola Booth (Biology and Society, right) lead CALS graduates to Commencement ceremony at Schoellkopf Stadium May 28, 2017.
There are always plenty of plants to engage with at the Conservatory. Of particular note now: Brownea spp. flowering in the Palm House low on the tree for great viewing. If you can’t make it before this flower fades, there’s another bud adjacent to it poised to bloom
Wojtek Pawlowski, School of Integrative Plant Science, in collaboration with Jaroslaw Pillardy, director of the Cornell Bioinformatics Facility, received $4 Million spanning 4 years from NSF to understand why and how specific sites in the genome become recombination hotspots in maize. Congratulations!
Penelope Lindsay, a Cornell University graduate student in Plant Biology in the lab of BTI Professor Maria Harrison, has been awarded a 2-year fellowship from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The pre-doctoral fellowship will support the final years of her graduate work on arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis, an important plant-fungal relationship that helps plants to capture more nutrients from the soil.
Demand for food and fuel is steadily increasing, while gains in the yield of many major food crops through traditional breeding and natural variation have leveled. As a potential solution, researchers are applying synthetic biology to improve photosynthesis. Maureen R. Hanson, Molecular Biology and Genetics, is focusing on an enzyme that limits the efficiency of photosynthesis—rubisco.
The 2016 SIPS Recognition & Awards Reception was held on October 28 to recognize staff receiving service awards for their years of work and faculty receiving recognition for contributions to their fields. Congratulations to all awardees, with special recognition to Ed Cobb and Kathy Howard for their 35 years of service!
Although the project’s concept is straightforward—make photosynthesis more efficient by tinkering with a core enzyme—its lofty ambition is to improve on evolution. Maureen Hanson, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Plant Molecular Biology, formulated the concept as part of a team of colleagues during an “Ideas Lab” meeting of 30 experts convened in 2010 by the National Science Foundation and the United Kingdom’s equivalent, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
On the occasion of the president emeritus’ 90th birthday, the morning symposium will bring to campus the world’s foremost Darwin scholar, Janet Browne of Harvard University, and Yale University professor of geology and geophysics Derek Briggs. They will address Rhodes' contributions to paleontology and Darwin studies and the relevance of these topics today.
Oct. 29 at the Frank H.T. Rhodes Symposium in Alice Statler Auditorium from 9 to 11:45 a.m
After many days of cautious predictions, Cornell’s Titan arum “Wee Stinky” began to flower on the afternoon of Friday October 14th, reaching its maximally open and aromatic state late Friday evening.
Thanks to all who attended Wee Stinky’s third flowering
Oct 17, 2016
Soon the towering spadix will topple over. But don’t fret. That’s natural and expected.
Normal weekday hours (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) resume on Monday (10/17)
If you’d like us to keep you posted on happenings in the Conservatory (when the Victoria lily or other interesting plants are in flower), visit the Liberty Hyde Bailey website and sign-up for email updates. And you can also view video of Robert Raguso’s talk Friday night while Wee Stinky was in full flower.
Currently, there are two flowering sized titan arums in the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory. Named Wee Stinky and Carolus, these two plants represent the diverse interests in Cornell’s Department of Plant Biology.
The 2016 School of Integrative Plant Science Symposium was held the afternoon of October 11 as part of a fall break science extravaganza that included the Department of Microbiology Symposium on October 10 and the BMCB & GGD Symposium on the morning of October 11.
One of Cornell’s famous corpse flowers is getting ready once again to unfurl its fetid bloom. The plant nicknamed Wee Stinky, one of two flowering-sized titan arums in the living collection of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory, is prepping for a dazzling reproductive effort to make itself big, hot and smelly.
The rebuilt Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory Greenhouse houses more than 500 species from nearly 80 different families, the greenhouse maintains an indoor climate ideal for plants native to tropical, subtropical and other regions, including two of the university’s famed corpse flowers, as well as orchids, cycads, palms, cacti, coffee and cocoa plants.
Fleshy fruit, such as tomatoes, are unique plant developmental systems that provide important components of human and animal diets. This project aims to decipher complex problems in plant biology that are also central to fleshy fruit development and quality.
Cornell Researchers:Jocelyn Rose, James J. Giovannoni, Carmen Catala, and Zhangjun Fei
Chloroplasts have enormous potential as factories for production of transgenic proteins, though in some cases these products are degraded by chloroplast proteases. The research program of Klaas van Wijk (SIPS Section of Plant Biology) has received NSF funding to characterize protein degradation in the chloroplast, possibly providing clues on how to design proteins that accumulate to higher levels.
The Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory is a special oasis to escape the busy life on campus and appreciate the biodiversity of the world. This past summer, a plant in the Nymphaeaceae family, commonly known as the Victoria lily, was moved to the Palm House. On Sept. 2, the Victoria lily began its dramatic blossoming.
‘Wee Stinky’ – one of two flowering-sized Titan arums in the living collection of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory – is poised to flower again in the very near future. It will be the first Titan arum to flower in the new Conservatory, which re-opened last spring. And as a bonus, its sibling ‘Carolus’ stands nearby in its vegetative stage, its single leaf towering nine feet tall.
Matthew Willmann, director of the new Plant Transformation Facility, is harnessing precision technology to create transgenic and gene-edited plants on campus for Cornell researchers.
Adrienne Roeder awarded NSF CAREER grant
May 14, 2016
The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of $500,000 to Cornell University for the project ” Initiation of Cell Size Patterning in Arabidopsis” under the direction of Adrienne Roeder. The award is expected to total $988,503.
Roeder’s research group investigates the role that cell growth and division play in the diversity of cell size in the Arabidopsis sepal. Arabidopsis is a flowering plant and its sepal is the outermost green leaf-like floral organ that surrounds and protects the developing bud.
Adrienne Roeder is a Nancy M. & Samuel C. Fleming Term Assistant Professor at the the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, and the Department of Plant Biology. Read more about her program’s research
On May 5th, the ribbon was officially cut at a Student Open House for the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory. Alan Collmer, Glenn Evans, Kevin Nixon, and Ed Cobb acknowledged the hard work of Capital Programs managers and directors, Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station employees, plant science undergraduates, and the many people who advocated for the rebuilding of the conservatory.
Dean Kathryn Boor honored a select group of CALS students, faculty and staff during this year’s Dean’s Awards Dinner held April 18 at the Statler Hotel, including Plant Sciences Majors and Plant Biology Section faculty.
A Cornell-led international team has launched a set of open-access genomic resources that will accelerate the ability of rice geneticists and breeders to link genes to important traits in rice.
Adrian Powell and Samuel Leiboff win Barbara McClintock Award
Feb 1, 2016
Adrian Powell, a graduate researcher in the laboratory of Professor Jeff Doyle and Sam Leiboff, a graduate researcher in the laboratory of Professor Michael Scanlon, both students in the Plant Biology section at Cornell University, received the 2016 Barbara McClintock Award from the directors of graduate studies in the plant sciences graduate fields.
Winners of the award are chosen because they have made significant contributions to plant science through their research and have “the best potential and greatest background merit.”
The award commemorates the Nobel Prize-winning work of Barbara McClintock, who discovered transposable elements—segments of DNA that can move throughout the genome—while working in maize. McClintock began this work at Cornell University in the 1920s, where she completed a masters and doctoral degree in plant genetics. The endowment for the award came from Robert Rabson, who led the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Biosciences Division for many years, enabling much novel plant physiology research.
In a competition for funds among New York’s Regional Economic Development Councils, the Southern Tier won $500 million over the next five years in New York’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative, including a project that taps CALS expertise in plant science for the innovation economy.
Dean Boor announces Research and Extension, Core Value Staff Awards
Oct 15, 2015
Dean Kathryn J. Boor today announced the recipients of the 2015 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, CALS Research, Extension, and Core Value Staff awards, which will be presented November 3 during a 4:00-6:30 p.m. reception in G10 Biotech.
The Outstanding Service to the CALS Community Award is one of several awards being presented this year. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Research and Extension Awards are intended to recognize a broad range of accomplishments contributing to the realization of the CALS vision, “To be the preeminent college for research, teaching and extension of agriculture and life sciences, developing leaders to address the global challenges of the 21st century.” These awards signify our appreciation of and commitment to those who sustain our land-grant mission.
William Crepet, Plant Biology Section Chair, will receive the 2015 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Research and Extension Award for Outstanding Service to the CALS Community for his efforts that have helped to make our CALS Community a better place including his 25 years of leadership in the Bailey Hortorium, and in Plant Biology.
Dr. Jian Hua promoted to full Professor
Jul 6, 2015
We are very pleased to announce Dr. Jian Hua’s promotion to full Professor within Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science- Plant Biology Section. Promotion to full Professor recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated significant achievements in teaching, research, and/or extension during their appointment as associate professors. Professor Hua has research programs using molecular genetics to understand how plants perceive and integrate environmental signals to modulate growth and development. She also teaches courses in plant genetics and plant development and mentors graduate students.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Jian Hua on her promotion to full Professor.
Cornell faculty members Joseph Halpern, Paul McEuen and Karl Niklas have been named fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Bruce Wallace, former member of Cornell Faculty, died on Monday, January 12, 2015
Jan 23, 2015
Bruce Wallace, distinguished geneticist, former member of the Cornell Faculty, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, died on January 12th after a short stroke related illness. Bruce first joined Cornell’s Department of Plant Breeding and then, as department organizations evolved, became a member of the Section of Genetics, Development andPhysiology, and then Botany, Genetics and Development before Botany split from Genetics in 1980. Many of the senior or Emeritus faculty now in Plant Bio. were colleagues or former students (i.e. Andre Jagendorf, Dom Paolillo, June and Mike Nasrallah). Bruce ultimately left Cornell to join the faculty of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
Five departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences – Plant Biology, Horticulture, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Crop and Soil Sciences, and Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology – have been consolidated into the School of Integrative Plant Science.
Clint Ko Wins 2014 Excellence Award
May 30, 2014
Shi Jun (Clint) Ko '14 won the 2014 Plant Biology Excellence Award. Clint was a biological sciences major. He worked in Professor Roeder's lab since the summer of 2012 studying cell patterning. This fall he will enter the Ph.D. program in the Department of Biology at MIT. He is interested in the mechanisms that drive dynamic changes in cell morphology or behavior.
Andre Jagendorf received a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Rebeiz Foundation for Basic Research in September 2013. The Rebeiz Foundation is dedicated to the promotion of fundamental research at the national and international levels. Congratulations to Andre on this well deserved award!
Adrienne Roeder is selected as the Nancy M. and Samuel C. Fleming Term Assistant Professor in the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology for a three-year period beginning September 2013. The professorship is awarded in recognition of Adrienne's scientific excellence, creativity, and academic promise. The endowment for this professorship was made possible by the generosity of Nancy and Sam Fleming and in support of their commitment to discovery in the life sciences.
Faculty, students and alumni of the Department of Plant Biology celebrated the department's centennial June 28-29.
Leiboff wins teaching award
May 15, 2013
Samuel Leiboff is the 2013 recipient of the outstanding teaching assistant in Plant Biology. Sam was TA for BioPL 2410 (An Introduction to Plant Biodiversity and Evolution) in the Fall of 2012 and was TA for BioPL 1120 (Issues in Social Biology) in the Spring of 2013.
Founded by Liberty Hyde Bailey in 1935, the Hortorium has historically been the major U. S. center for the systematics of cultivated plants. Today, the Hortorium's mission has expanded to include systematic studies of wild and cultivated plants, ethnobotany, molecular systematics, paleobotany, phylogenetic theory, biodiversity studies, and pharmaceutical studies of tropical plants.
Michael Scanlon awarded $7 million by the National Science Foundation for his study, "Genetic networks regulating structure and function of the maize shoot apical meristem." Scanlon leads a team of nine researchers who study the maize shoot apical meristem (SAM) -- a pool of plant stem cells responsible for forming essentially all of the above-ground parts of the corn plant.
Karl Niklas has been named a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell. The Weiss Presidential Fellowship is awarded for excellence in teaching and advising undergraduates. The award is named for Stephen H. Weiss '57, former chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees.
When a rare corpse plant showed signs of imminent blooming on Cornell's campus March 14, the university opened its greenhouse doors to the public and live-streamed the event through two separate feeds.