Testimonials for Pioneer Member Mark Estelle

Bonnie Bartel – I have long appreciated Mark’s leadership and example in the auxin field – from elucidating the signaling via ground-breaking genetic approaches to making the field a welcoming space for junior scientists. Thank you, Mark!

Steven P. Briggs – I had the honor and pleasure of working with Mark, both a colleague and collaborator, at UC San Diego. Mark provided outstanding leadership and collegiality, which elevated the success and happiness of all around him. His service as department chair during the COVID pandemic nurtured our faculty members through difficult circumstances, just as he simultaneously nurtured his trainees to keep them progressing toward their education and career goals. Mark embodies the qualities of an ASPB Pioneer: he’s a great scientist, educator, leader, and person.

Juan Carlos del Pozo – Everyone who knows me is aware that I consider Mark as my “father in science”. During my time in his lab, not only did I develop as a scientist, but I also grew as an individual learning from Mark´s values as a person. What I learned from Mark and my labmates increased my passion for science and plant research. Mark, thank you very much for everything you did for me and for having such an impact in who I am today!

Nihal Dharmasiri – It is an honor to support the nomination of Dr. Mark Estelle as a Pioneer of the ASPB for his contribution to the advancement of plant biology. Both Suni and I were fortunate to have Mark as our mentor during our postdoctoral training, which allowed us to work on several important research projects while shaping up our scientific career.

Joe Ecker – Mark,

It has been great to know you and collaborate with your group. Your contributions to plant biology have been enormous. You are truly an ASPB Pioneer – congratulations on this recognition!


Lawrence Hobbie – Mark was a generous, thoughtful, and dynamic mentor for me and his other postdocs and graduate students. His ideas and intellectual enthusiasm created a great atmosphere of excitement and dedication in the lab. I am very grateful for his guidance and help, which enabled me to establish my own research program in an independent faculty position.

Roger Innes – Mark Estelle helped get me hired at Indiana University as a new Assistant Professor, and then became my closest colleague and mentor at IU. He made me feel welcome and supported, and most importantly, he became a good friend. Our labs did many joint activities in those early days, from joint lab meetings to Christmas parties. I have many fond memories.

Jen Moon – Mark was an excellent mentor and taught me so much by word and example. He gave me the freedom to explore while keeping me on track to graduate. I particularly valued (and continue to value) all he taught me about good scientific writing, lessons I share with my students today. His calm and steady demeanor helped me navigate the sometimes stormy path of graduate school! Thank you, Mark!

Eilon Shani – Mark Estelle is an outstanding scientist, a wonderful supervisor, and a great person to look up to. I had the unique privilege to learn from Mark and I’m grateful for that!

Chris & Shauna Somerville – We have watched Mark’s career flourish from his graduate studies at the University of Alberta to his conversion from Drosophila to Arabidopsis as a postdoc in Chris’ lab at Michigan State University and finally to become a pre-eminent leader in the field of auxin biology. Bravo Mark.

Sibo Tao – As my Ph.D. advisor, Mark greatly inspired me in my career and has given me a lot of guidance and help during my six years in his lab. Apart from the comprehensive training and research opportunities I received in the field of auxin signaling, I also developed critical thinking, communication, and other soft skills that will greatly benefit my career. I really appreciate having the chance to pursue my graduate study and thesis research with Mark.

Teva Vernoux – In the field of auxin biology and plant development, I can’t think of someone that embodies more of what a pioneer is than Mark. His work and vision has paved the way for an entire generation of active scientists and without doubt for the next to come. Thank you Mark.

Xiang Wang – It was a great experience for me to spend two years as a graduate student in the Estelle lab. Professor Estelle was always willing to help and provided inspiring advice on my projects and thesis. His encouragement changed me from a person with no background in plant biology to a Master’s student with outstanding grades and a thesis. Although I am now working in the Biotech Industry on NGS, the fundamentals I learned in his lab and the suggestions from Professor Estelle still help me to do well.

Ning Zheng – As a structural biologist trained in two biomedical institutes, I had never paid close attention to plant biology until Mark reached out to me to establish a collaboration aimed at revealing the mechanism of action of auxin. The outcome not only led to a breathtaking journey far beyond my imagination but also changed the trajectory of my research forever. These days I am fascinated by the many mysterious questions remaining to be answered in the plant biology field, and am also excited to embark on a new quest to discover novel therapeutics based on the molecular principle auxin, the critical plant hormone, has taught us. Thank you, Mark, for directing me into the wonderland of plants!