Stephen Hales Prize

This award honors the Reverend Stephen Hales for his pioneering work in plant biology published in his 1727 book Vegetable Staticks. It is a monetary award established in 1927 for a scientist, an ASPB member, who has served the science of plant biology in some noteworthy manner. The award is made annually. The recipient of the award is invited to address the Society on a subject in plant biology at the next annual meeting.

2018 Winner: Mary Lou Guerinot

Mary Lou Guerinot (Ronald and Deborah Harris Professor in the Sciences at Dartmouth College) is a world leader in plant nutrition who has provided outstanding service to the plant biology community. Mary Lou has used physiological and genetic approaches to investigate the mobilization, transport, and sub-cellular partitioning of metals by plants, particularly zinc and iron. These are essential nutrients for plants, and their uptake provides the entry point also for human nutrition. In addition to her discoveries on metal transport and its relevance to agriculture and human health, Mary Lou has contributed extensively to the plant biology community through numerous editorial and leadership roles, including president of the American Society of Plant Biologists. She is a dedicated educator, providing undergraduate, postgraduate, and postdoctoral training. Mary Lou’s discoveries, made with her collaborative network, increase our understanding of plant biology, contribute to better farming practice, and offer the possibility of improved human nutrition.


Alex Webb , Chair (2016-2019)
Mary Lou Guerinot, Past Winner (2018-2019)
Natalia Dudareva (2016-2019)
Harkamal Walia (2016-2019)
Sylvia Lee, Staff Liaison

Nomination & Deadlines

The Stephen Hales Prize will be offered again in 2019. Please check the nominations page in January 2019 to make a nomination.

Past Winners

2017 – Julia Bailey Serres – for noteworthy service to the science of plant biology

2016 – Gloria Coruzzi -a leader in exploring the interface of plant and systems biology and provided the first integrated view of mechanisms controlling the assimilation and use of nitrogen.

2015- Bob Goldberg -for noteworthy service to the science of plant biology

2014- Mike Thomashow -for noteworthy service to the science of plant biology

2013 – Brian A. Larkins -for noteworthy service to the science of plant biology

2012 – Ian Sussex – for noteworthy service to the science of plant biology

2011 – Susan Wessler – for her continuing and outstanding contributions to plant science

2010 –Athanasios (Sakis) Theologis– for his sustained and outstanding contributions to plant science for more than 30 years

2009 –Jeffery Dangl– for his role in developing the concepts and elucidating the fundamental mechanisms that govern plant-pathogen interactions

2008 –Peter Quail– for noteworthy service to the science of plant biology

2007 – Sarah Hake – for noteworthy contributions to our fundamental understanding of plant development biology that span the scienific disciplines of evolution, genetics, cell biology, and plant molecular biology

2006 – Ken Keegstra – for his pioneering contributions to our understanding of chloroplast biogenesis, protein import into chloroplasts, and the structure and biosynthesis of the plant cell wall

2005 – Bob Buchanan – for his major discoveries regarding the regulation of CO2 fixation and the roles of the thioredoxin system in plant development

2004 – Natasha Raikhel – for her studies of protein trafficking and for developing the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as the organism of choice for plant cell biology

2002 – Elisabeth Gantt – for her pioneering contributions to research in photosynthesis and carotenoid biosynthesis, and for her exemplary service work

2000 *Jan A. D. Zeevaart for his extensive contributions to the elucidation of the mechanisms whereby plant hormones mediate effects of the environment on plant processes such as flowering, growth, and protective responses to drought

1998 *Hans Kende for his seminal contributions to our understanding of the mode of action of the hormones gibberellin, cytokinin, and ethylene

1996 Maarten J. Chrispeels for his research on the interface between cell biology and biochemistry, as a spokesperson for the science, as an inspiring teacher and mentor, and as an exacting editor of the journal Plant Physiology

1994 Winslow R. Briggs for serving plant physiology as a teacher and mentor, as an investigator of how light interacts with internal metabolic and hormonal controls, and as a senior spokesperson for the science

1992 *Clarence A. Ryan for his contributions to our understanding of plant defense based on proteinase inhibitors

1990 *Joseph E. Varner for his fundamental contributions and intellectual leadership in plant physiology

1988 *Oliver E. Nelson, Jr. in recognition of his research in genetic and molecular biology

1986 Olle E. Bjorkman for his important contributions to plant physiology and, particularly, to the area of physiological plant ecology

1984 *Bernard O. Phinney, recognized worldwide as the foremost authority on the function and metabolism of the gibberellins

1982 *Lawrence Bogorad for his pioneering research characterizing the chloroplast genome

1980 *N. Edward Tolbert for his research in the fields of photorespiration and glycolate metabolism

1978 *Bessel Kok for his contributions to the photophysical and biochemical aspects of photosynthesis

1976 *Anton Lang for his outstanding contributions in plant growth and regulation

1974 *Paul Karl Stumpf in recognition of his outstanding contributions to our knowledge of lipid metabolism in plants

1972 Andrew Alm Benson for his discovery of ribulose among products of photosynthetic carbon dioxide assimilation and for his other contributions to the elucidation of this process

1970 *Harry Beevers in recognition of his outstanding studies of glyoxalate metabolism and of glyoxysomes

1968 Robert Harza Burris for his continued contribution to knowledge of the metabolism of nitrogen and its fixation by plants

1966 *Daniel Israel Arnon in honor of his distinguished contributions toward advancing plant physiology as a science

1964 *Frederick Campion Steward for his many important contributions to the knowledge of cell differentiation and specific growth factors

1962 *Sterling Brown Hendricks and *Harry Alfred Borthwick for their contributions in the field of growth and differential in plants

1960 *Perry R. Stout for contributions in the field of mineral nutrition of plants

1958 *Frits Warmolt Went for contributions in the field of auxins and physiological ecology

1956 *Melvin Calvin for his charting of the path of carbon in photosynthesis

1954 *Folke Karl Skoog for his outstanding work in the field of auxin physiology

1952 *Lawrence Rogers Blinks for his studies in photosynthesis and the physiology of the algae

1950 *Birgit Vennesland for her contributions in the field of plant biochemistry and enzymes

1948 *Robert Emerson for his many important contributions to the study of the photosynthetic mechanism

1948 *David Rockwell Goddard for his fundamental contributions to our knowledge of respiration and respiratory enzymes

1946 *Burton Edward Livingston for his contributions to the field of plant physiology

1944 Ray Fields Dawson for his pioneering and leadership in investigations of the localization of the mechanism of alkaloid synthesis

1942 *Cornelis Bernardus van Niel in recognition of his brilliant work on the biochemistry of lower organisms and contributions to an understanding of photosynthesis

1940 *Philip Rodney White for his pioneer work and major contributions to plant tissue culture

1938 *John Wesley Shive for his contributions to the investigation of mineral requirements and general plant nutrition

1936 *Kenneth Vivian Thimann for his contributions to our knowledge of the chemistry and physiological significance of the growth hormones of plants

1934 *Charles Albert Shull for distinguished service to the science of plant physiology

1932 *Hubert Bradford Vickery for his contributions to plant protein chemistry

1930 *Wrightman Wells Garner for his development of the concept of photoperiodism

1929 *Dennis Robert Hoagland for his contributions and leadership in the field of plant nutrition