Testimonials for Pioneer Member Richard Amasino

Andrew Bent – In addition to leading plant biologists to figure out vernalization and the control of flowering time, Rick modeled the use of Arabidopsis for the molecular-genetic dissection of any trait of interest. Many people watched Rick and learned these methods. And of course many of them wouldn’t have known about these approaches had Rick not stepped forward (for multiple years) to organize the international Arabidopsis meetings at UW-Madison. Plant biology truly flowered (blossomed!) during the years Rick nucleated and facilitated those seminal and very exciting Arabidopsis meetings. Thanks Rick!

Jorge Dubcovsky – Rick Amasino has been a central figure in the elucidation of the plant vernalization pathway and the characterization of its diversity across the plant kingdom.

Susheng Gan – Rick had a profound impact on my advanced education and career development. As a mentor/advisor of my pre- and postdoctoral training, Rick was not only an outstanding scientific resource, but also treated me (and many others) as an equal and a friend. Rick has generously continued to offer me his support, help, and advice throughout my career. Thank you so much Rick!

Yuehui He – About two decades ago, I was lucky to have the opportunity to conduct my post-doctoral research under Rick’s guidance; it was a great learning and pleasant journey. Rick has been an inspiring mentor for me both in scientific exploration and in life. His mentoring prepared me to start my own research group. After leaving his laboratory, once in a while I communicated with Rick about my research program, and as usual I benefited from his insightful suggestions and advice. Thank you very much Rick!

Ed Himelblau – Rick was the advisor for my Ph.D. Early on I realized that teaching would be the focus of my career. Rick put my interests and agenda ahead of his own and gave me the freedom to explore many teaching experiences during graduate school (which, of course, slowed the pace of my research). Rick is a wonderful teacher. Some of my most formative discussions about science teaching and pedagogy happened in Rick’s office.

Weiya Li – I feel lucky to have worked as a postdoc in Rick’s lab from 2019 to now. Rick is one of the nicest people I ever met. He never stopped me from pursuing my stupid ideas, and he provided me constructive comments instead. Rick treats scientific questions rigorously; he cites a quote from Albert Einstein: “The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.” I am deeply influenced by Rick. He is very knowledgeable, and his vast knowledge always broadens my horizon. Rick has been very kind to me and my family and helped us a lot.

Bing Liu – Rick is an excellent mentor for students and young scientists. He is an insightful plant biologist who has contributed to understanding the process of vernalization and trained outstanding scientists from around the world. During my time in his lab as a postdoc, I learned a lot about the plant kingdom and flowering time regulation. I also had the opportunity to learn how to develop research projects and guide students. I am grateful for the wonderful time in his lab.

Yoo-Sun Noh – Rick’s pioneering work on flowering and vernalization has been a great asset not only to the plant biology, but to science and human culture as well.

Thomas Osborn – One of the great plant biologists who I admire as a scientist, a teacher, a mentor to many, and an all around good person!

Robert Schmitz – Rick is very deserving of this recognition. He cultivated a wonderful research environment to study the floral transition in plants. He saw the best in all of us and maximized our ability to contribute to this research. He was an inspiring and thoughtful graduate mentor. He would tirelessly spend time mentoring us on how to write manuscripts, prepare presentations and understand the literature. He is a rigorous scientist who balances enthusiasm and skepticism. Some of my fondest memories of working in Rick’s lab are of deep scientific discussions during lab meetings regarding the molecular basis of the floral transition in Arabidopsis thaliana. These meetings were rich with opposing viewpoints and models, and Rick was masterful at facilitating the exchange of opposing viewpoints. He always brought clarity to the conversation. Best of all, he managed to do all of this with a big smile and a hefty dose of patience. He might come across as unassuming, but he has one of the best senses of humors of anyone I know. His mentorship has no bounds, as he continues to mentor many of us to this day. He’s a true pioneer of this field.

Tim Strabala – Rick is a rare (at least in my experience) example of being not only an outstanding scientist and teacher, but also a wonderful human being. In the more than 30 years since I graduated from Rick’s lab, my realization of what a privilege it was for me to work with and learn from him has only grown. The lessons he taught me as a student, and the advice he has given me on occasion since, have always served me well throughout my career. I can think of no one more deserving to be considered an ASPB Pioneer.

Sibum Sung – I consider Rick to be the most influential mentor in my life and scientific career. He was my mentor then when I was in his lab in Wisconsin, and he still is my mentor even now when I am in my own lab in Texas. I am honored to be part of the group supporting Rick’s ASPB Pioneer recognition.

Michael R. Sussman – His research identified key genes involved in how a plant decides to flower. More importantly, his character as a professional scientist, educator and compassionate human being is a shining example of what one can achieve. I consider myself fortunate to be one of the people who were fortunate to cross paths with him.

Daniel Woods – I feel incredibly fortunate to have had Rick as both a mentor and friend. He is not only a pioneering plant biologist, but also one of the greatest teachers and mentors one could hope to have.