Testimonials for Pioneer Member Russell Jones

Peggy Lemaux – Russell was important for my becoming incorporated into the Plant Biology Department at Berkeley. As the only other person who had interests in barley (other than for beer making), it was wonderful to have someone to talk with about his and my interests. And ever since then, whenever I had questions about plant biology, Russell was my go-to person! And he never disappointed! I am pleased to support this nomination as he is certainly deserving.

Wilhelm Gruissem – I first met Russell Jones in 1983 during the interview for an assistant professor position at UC Berkeley. At the time, I was a postdoc at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where I had started my career unravelling the molecular biology of chloroplasts. Admittedly, UC Berkeley was not my first choice, but after emerging as the top candidate Russell encouraged me to come back with my wife Barbara for a second visit. The rest is history. Over the years, Russell and I became close friends and our passion for good food and red wines cemented this friendship, even after I left UC Berkeley in 2000 for ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Russell promoted my career and I was (and still am) thankful for his continued advice. We (together with Bob Buchanan) greatly enjoyed working together on the textbook ‘Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants”. We undertook this epochal project with the support of ASPB to follow the pioneering plant biochemistry book of Joe Varner, one of Russell’s postdoctoral mentors. Russell has made many important discoveries in plant biology, especially regarding the regulation of seed dormancy and germination. His (almost life-long) contributions to ASPB in many ways are impressive. Russell clearly belongs with the distinguished group of ASPB Pioneer Members.

Anastasios Melis – Jones’ research focused on how plants process environmental signals, including the function of plant hormones and other molecules that play a role in plant cell biochemistry and physiology. He emphasized the regulation of dormancy and germination in seeds. Beyond his own acclaimed research, he contributed to the well-being of the field nationally and internationally, as the editor of the Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology (1994–2001), and as a managing editor of Planta (1991–2001). He served as the president of the ASPB in 1993-94. He was named an ASPB Fellow in 2007. He highly deserves the recognition and induction to the ranks of ASPB Pioneers.

Robert Paull – Russell can only be described as an excellent mentor who allowed you to pursue your ideas and make mistakes. He was my second PhD advisor at UC Berkeley, and he gave me considerable freedom in project choice and support to carry out the research. His experience and knowledge helped me and others and provided us guidance to address the research challenges we faced. Fortunately, he was patient, allowing for my many foibles and providing constructive feedback and direction as he did for all his students.