The International Botanical Congress (IBC) is the largest international conference in plant biology and extends the broadest disciplinary coverage of any such conference. The IBC is held every six years and will take place in Melbourne, Australia, in 2011. This grant will support travel for graduate students, postdocs, and early career faculty (within three years of first appointment), who are presenting the results of their research, to attend the upcoming IBC.

The IBC serves a critical role in international communication within and across disciplines in plant biology, as well as a valuable opportunity to establish international collaborations. Participation is particularly valuable for young scientists as they establish their careers. The opportunity to reach so many scientists within any individual discipline creates an unequaled opportunity for exposure by a young scientist. The once-in-six-years frequency of the Congresses means that for most young scientists, who are about to complete Ph.D.s, find a job, or compete for tenure in their academic institutions, there is only one opportunity to participate in an IBC during these critical stages of professional development. For the young scientists supported by these travel awards, connections made here will be career-altering and will create life-long collaborations that will enhance their development as scientists.

Project Report

This award enabled a coalition of professional societies that support plant sciences to assist 28 young scientists (Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows, and beginning faculty) to attend the International Botanical Congress (IBC) in Melbourne, Australia, July 23-30, 2011. The IBC is the largest international conference in plant biology and extends the broadest disciplinary coverage of any such conference. It provides an opportunity for plant scientists of all disciplines to showcase their research to peers from around the world, while fostering communication and collaboration in ways that only can develop from the sort of personal interactions and networking that occur at such conferences. The IBC is held once every six years. This opportunity to attend is especially important for early career scientists who are establishing their research programs. The six-year interval means that for most graduate students and postdocs, this is their only chance to attend an IBC before entering the job market, and for early career faculty this is the only opportunity to do so before promotion and tenure. A total of 164 applications were received and a committee of senior scientists representing the various professional societies selected the recipients. All of the participating professional societies emphasize support of students and early career scientists and are committed to increasing diversity in the Plant Sciences. Ph. D. Students Birch, Joanne, University of Hawaii, "Austral origins and Pacific radiations: the historical biogeography of Astelia s.l. (Asteliaceae)" Diazgranados, Mauricio, "Phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships within the endemic subtribe Espeletiinae Cuaterec. (Asteraceae) of the South American paramos" Honaas, Loren, Penn State University, "Functional genomics of a generalist parasitic plant" Lu-Irving, Patricia, University of Washington, "Using new genes and techniques to untangle the evolution of problematic taxa: an example from Lantaneae (Verbenaceae)" McKain, Michael, University of Georgia, "Origin of bimodal karyotype of Agavaceae coincides with a paleopolyploid event" Schuette, Scott, Southern Illinois University, "Predicted protein–protein interactions in the moss Physcomitrella patens: a new bioinformatic resource" Sessa, Emily, University of Wisconsin, Madison, "Phylogeny, physiology, and reticulate evolution: an integrated approach to North American Dryopteris (Dryopteridaceae)" Taylor, Mackenzie, Universityof Tennessee, "Reproductive life history variation and breeding systems in Trithuria (Hydatellaceae)" Wu, Wenying, Smithsonian Institution, "Ecological associations of plants–fungi from late Paleozoic coal-ball deposits" Creese, Chris, University of California, Los Angeles, "At the fern frontier: new insights into the causes and consequences of variation in fern leaf form and function across species and environments in Southern California, Hawaii and Costa Rica" Dorsey, Brian University of Michigan, "Euphorbia subgenus Euphorbia: a diverse lineage with regional radiations and repeated evolution of novel growth forms" Feist, Mary Ann, University of Illinois, "Revised generic delimitations for Oxypolis and Ptilimnium (Apiaceae tribe Oenantheae) based on nuclear rDNA ITS and cpDNA sequence data and fruit anatomy" Pabon Mora, Natalia, New York Botanical Garden, "What we know and don’t know about the ‘A-function‘: the role of Ap1/Ful genes in basal eudicot flowers Scoffoni, Christine, University of California, Los Angeles, "Decline of leaf hydraulic conductance during desiccation: relationships to leaf size and venation architecture in species varying strongly in drought tolerance" Postdoctoral Fellows Barrett, Craig, Cornell University, "A phylogeny of the monocots, based on plastid genomes and additional genes of the plastid and mitochondrial genomes" Marazzi, Brigitte, University of Arizona, "Diversity and evolution of extrafloral nectaries in Leguminosae" Steele, P. Roxanne, University of Missouri, Columbia, "Relationships within Asparagales: a phylogenomic perspective" Straub, Shannon, Oregon State University, "The milkweed genome project: sequencing and characterization of the Asclepias syriaca (Apocynaceae) genome based on illumina short read sequences" Sundue, Michael, University of Vermont, "Insights into the multiple origins of symbioses between Acrospermum and polypod" ferns: evidence from plant and fungal sequence data" Bachelier Julien, Harvard University, "Female gametophyte development and competition in early-diverging lineages of flowering plants" Rai, Hardeep, Utah State University, "Phytochrome data resolve the backbone of cycad phylogeny and reveal the recent, simultaneous diversification of large genera" Walls, Ramona, New York Botanical Garden, "The Plant Ontology: an updated tool for all plant biologists" Junior Faculty (first three years of appointment) Barker, Michael, University of Arizona, "Genomic footprints of hybridization" Bell, Charles, University of New Orleans, "The timing of evolution across land plants – recent results" Dlugosch, Katrina, University of Arizona, "Population genomics of non-model invasive species" Fisher, Kirsten, California State University, Los Angeles, "Cryptic lineage diversity in California mosses – examples from Syntrichia" Willyard, Ann, Hendrix College, "Estimating the species tree for Hawaiian Schiedea (Caryophyllaceae) from multiple loci in the presence of reticulate evolution"

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Environmental Biology (DEB)
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Maureen M. Kearney
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Botanical Society of America
Saint Louis
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