UF/IFAS Faculty Receive American Society of Plant Biologists Awards


        Two University of Florida horticultural sciences faculty members received awards from the American Society of Plant Biologists at the group's annual meeting July 20-24 in Austin, Texas.

        Andrew Hanson, an eminent scholar in UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, received the Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award. It is the group's oldest award, established in 1925, and honors meritorious work in plant biology.

        Hanson was recognized for his unique and many contributions to the field of plant biology, his "exemplary use of comparative genomics approaches to deepen our understanding of plant metabolic pathways, and his research in the areas of folate biosynthesis and biofortification," according to the organization.

        The award's namesake, Charles Reid Barnes, was the first professor of plant physiology at the University of Chicago.

        Karen Koch, a molecular biology professor with UF/IFAS known for her work on carbon metabolism and the effects of sugars on gene expression, was one of five 2012 fellows inducted by the ASPB organization.

        Koch's "feast and famine" framework for regulating the expression of genes forms the basis for understanding the responses of plant organs to sugar signaling to optimize resource allocation. She served the group as an elected member of its Executive Committee and is the first Fellow of ASPB recipient from Florida. She was on the Plant Physiology editorial board from 1987 to 1993.

        The Fellow of ASPB Award recognizes distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the organization by members in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach, and professional and public service. This honor may be granted to no more than 0.2 percent of the group's membership each year.