Fellow of ASPB Award

Established in 2007, the Fellow of ASPB award may be granted in recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the Society by current members in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach, and professional and public service. Current members of ASPB who have contributed to the Society for at least 10 years are eligible for nomination. Recipients of the Fellow of ASPB honor, which may be granted to no more than 0.2% of the current membership each year, receive a certificate of distinction and a lapel pin.

2024 Winner: Om Parkash Dhankher

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Om Parkash Dhankher, professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is a world-renowned expert in glutathione homeostasis, developing climate-resilient crops for food security and food safety, metabolic engineering of lipid biosynthesis, and phytoextraction and phytoremediation of toxic metals. Om was influenced early on by the effects of environmental stress on agriculture in rural India, and he has devoted much of his career to understanding fundamental questions in biology with the goal of benefiting society. In addition to serving on editorial boards of numerous journals and mentoring students at all levels, he has served ASPB extensively both in the Northeast Section and at the national level as a member of multiple committees. Om has also played a leadership role in international efforts to improve food security and in developing a partnership between ASPB and the Indian Society of Plant Physiology (ISPP).

2024 Winnter: Rebecca Dickstein

University of North Texas, Denton

Rebecca (Becca) Dickstein is Professor Emerita at the University of North Texas in Denton. She joined ASPB in 1985 while starting her postdoc at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her first tenure track appointment was at Drexel University, Philadelphia. Becca’s research focused on nodule-specific genes and subsequently on the genetics of metabolite and ion transporters associated with symbiotic nitrogen fixation in Medicago truncatula. Her extensive contributions to ASPB include leadership roles in the Southern Section, representative to the Executive Committee, and as a member of the Membership and the Excellence in Education Award Committees. In addition, she presented talks and contributed written commentaries to the Native Plant Society of Texas, where she won state-wide recognition. Becca is recognized for her extensive research contributions and for her contributions to ASPB.

2024 Winner: Robert Paull

University of Hawaii, Honolulu

Robert Paull is a Professor of Tropical Plant and Soil Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa with research foci including molecular and practical influences on postharvest quality. He made important improvements in pineapple, papaya and taro production. Robert has translated his fundamental research into product improvement for diverse tropical fruits, vegetables and ornamentals. He continues to teach Plant Physiology to undergraduates and graduate students with passion. Robert has been an ASPB member for more than 50 years contributing to ASPB and plant sciences more generally through outstanding scholarship, teaching, mentoring, service, and as a founding member of The ASPB Legacy Society. In addition to the Fellow of ASPB Award, Robert has received the USDA Superior Service Award (1992), the International Society for Horticultural Science Fellow Award (2014) and the American Society for Horticultural Science Fellow Award (2014).

2024 Winner: Richard Sayre

New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, New Mexico

Richard T. Sayre is a Senior Scientist at the New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, and an Emeritus Professor at the Ohio State University. Richard was Director of the BioCassava Plus Program, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is focused on the biofortification of cassava to alleviate malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. Richard was also Director of the Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems, a DOE-supported Energy Frontier Research Center focused on lipid-based fuels. In addition to making several breakthrough discoveries involving photosystem II, Richard has also started several biotech companies that develop algal-based oral vaccines and delivery systems for therapeutics. Richard has also served ASPB with leadership roles in the Midwestern Section, and at the national level on the Public Affairs Committee and the Executive Committee.

2024 Winner: Shin-Han Shiu

Michigan State University, East Lansing

Shin-Han Shiu is a Red Cedar Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University in the departments of Plant Biology and Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering. Through his creative research program and a broad array of high-impact training activities, Shin-Han uses evolutionary principles and computational approaches to elucidate gene and genome function. Shin-Han joined ASPB as a doctoral student in 1998 and has served the Society as an editor for Plant Physiology (2012-2017), and as a member of the conference Program Committee (2018-2023). He directs MSU’s NSF-funded IMPACTS Research Traineeship Program for Integrated Training Model in Plant and Computational Sciences. In all of these endeavors, Shin-Han strives to broaden participation in computational plant biology through practices that promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

MariaElena Zavala, Chair (2023-2025)
Grace Ju Miller (2023-2026)
Jim Leebens-Mack (2023-2026)
Jon Monroe (2023-2026)
Sylvia Lee, Staff Liaison