Major Symposia


Saturday, July 14, 2018 | 1:00PM – 3:30PM

Symposium I: ASPB President’s Symposium, Translational Science
Organizer: Harry Klee

Harry Klee

This symposium highlights examples of translational science – that is, science that has progressed from the most basic discoveries onward to applications in the real world. The goal is to demonstrate that fundamental discoveries in the laboratory can impact our lives and make a difference. In a time when scientific credibility is being challenged by elements of our society, it is critical that we highlight the positive impact that our work can have and highlight the rewards of a research career for the next generation. The four speakers in this symposium illustrates how excellence in research can be coupled with application. They highlight the value of investment in basic research; we cannot always predict where fundamental discoveries will lead us. The outcomes of the featured research are already impacting agriculture and human health in the developed and developing world.

MJ Order Time Name/Organizer
MJ 1-0 1:00PM – 1:05PM

Harry Klee, University of Florida

MJ 1-1 1:05PM – 1:30PM

Ian Graham, University of York

MJ 1-2 1:30PM – 2:00PM

Marty Yanofsky, University of California – San Diego

Break 2:00PM – 2:30PM Coffee Break
MJ 1-3 2:30PM – 3:00PM

David Mackill, Mars Inc.

MJ 1-4 3:00PM – 3:30PM

Sherri Brown


Sunday, July 15, 2018| 8:30AM – 11:00AM

Symposium II: CSPB President’s Symposium, Integrating Signals in Plant Cell Biology and Development
Organizer: Geoff Wasteneys

Geoff Wasteneys

Plants have evolved complex cellular mechanisms that optimize their development and enable them to perceive and respond effectively to both endogenous and environmental cues. This symposium will highlight the latest discoveries on sensory, transcriptional and physiological responses in plants. The topics encompass mechanical sensing, pollen selection and rejection, transcriptional networks under the control of auxin, and the endomembrane-mediated processes that drive cellular expansion.

MJ Order Time Name/Organizer
MJ 2-0

8:30AM – 8:35AM

Geoff Wasteneys, University of British Columbia

MJ 2-1

8:35AM – 9:00AM

Elizabeth Haswell, Washington University St. Louis

MJ 2-2

9:00AM – 9:30AM

Mark Estelle, University of California, San Diego


9:30AM – 10:00AM

Coffee Break
MJ 2-3

10:00AM – 10:30AM

Daphne Goring, University of Toronto

MJ 2-4

10:30AM -11:00AM

Karin Schumacher, University of Heidelberg


Monday, July 16, 2018 | 8:30AM – 11:00AM

Symposium III: CSPB/ASPB Joint Symposium, Opening Research Avenues through New Technologies
Organizers: Anja Geitmann and Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor


Anja Geitmann

Opening Research Avenues through New Technologies (organized by Anja Geitmann and Phil Taylor) will highlight a series of novel technologies being developed in order to expand the tool-box available to researchers working on both fundamental aspects of plant biology or developing concepts for more applied research. The speakers, Karen Tanino, Amy Marshall-Colon, Dan Voytas and Todd Mockler will cover breakthroughs in exciting new topics across phenotyping, imaging, genome editing and computational tools that have enabled new research methodologies to address a variety of critical questions in modern plant biology.

MJ Order Time Name/Organizer
MJ 3-0

8:30AM – 8:35AM

Anja Geitmann, McGill University

Phil Taylor, Monsanto

MJ 3-1

8:35AM – 9:00AM

Todd Mockler, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

MJ 3-2

9:00AM – 9:30AM

Amy Marshall-Colon, University of Illinois


9:30AM – 10:00AM

Coffee Break
MJ 3-3

10:00AM – 10:30AM

Karen Tanino, University of Saskatchewan

MJ 3-4

10:30AM -11:00AM

Dan Voytas, University of Minnesota


Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | 3:00PM – 5:30PM

Symposium IV: ISPR/ASPB/CSPB Joint Symposium, The Ecophysiology of Photosynthesis from the Leaf to Global Scale
Organizer: Tom Sharkey

Tom Sharkey

Photosynthesis provides energy and metabolic building blocks for nearly all life on Earth. Photosynthesis operates over an extremely broad range of scales both in time and space. Photosynthesis is studied in the sub nanosecond scale of light capture reactions to the geological scale, the best example of which is the oxidation of the Earth, which changed global geochemistry. In this symposium four experts will describe current research into the ecophysiology of photosynthesis at the organizational level of the leaf, plant, ecosystem, and whole Earth. Topics that will be addressed is how photosynthesis might be manipulated to better serve human needs for food, fuel, and fiber, the interplay between environmental change and photosynthesis, and how we can understand photosynthesis at ecosystem and global scales.

MJ Order Time Name/Organizer
MJ 4-0

3:00PM – 3:05PM

Tom Sharkey, Michigan State University  

MJ 4-1

3:05PM – 3:30PM

Elizabete Carmo-Silva, Lancaster University

MJ 4-2

3:30PM – 4:00PM

Joy K. Ward, The University of Kansas


4:00PM – 4:30PM

Coffee Break
MJ 4-3

4:30PM – 5:00PM

Beverly E. Law, Oregon State University

MJ 4-4

5:00PM – 5:30PM

Joseph A. Berry, Carnegie Institution for Science – Stanford


Wednesday, July 18, 2018 | 9:00AM – 11:30AM

Symposium V: Gibbs Medal Symposium, Mechanisms of Genome Evolution
Organizer: Ralph Bock

Ralph Bock

The symposium will cover phylogenetic, genomic and experimental approaches towards understanding fundamental principles of genome evolution in plants. Emphasis will be placed on events that triggered major evolutionary transitions (e.g., the acquisition of organelles through endosymbiosis) and on processes that represent continuous sources of evolutionary innovations (e.g., allopolyploidization, horizontal gene transfer). The speakers will discuss the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms, the genetic, epigenetic and developmental consequences and the implications for speciation and plant ecology. Finally, recently developed experimental approaches will be presented that facilitate the reconstruction of various aspects of plant genome evolution in the laboratory and, in this way, allow us to observe of the evolution of new genes, new genomes and new plant species in real time. The potential that experimental genome evolution offers to plant breeding and agricultural biotechnology will also be highlighted.

MJ Order Time Name/Organizer
MJ 5-0

9:00AM – 9:05AM

Ralph Bock, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm

MJ 5-1

9:05AM – 9:30AM

Eva Nowack, University of Düsseldorf

MJ 5-2

9:30AM – 10:00AM

Jeffrey D. Palmer, Indiana University, Bloomington


10:00AM – 10:30AM

Coffee Break
MJ 5-3

10:30AM -11:00AM

Pamela S. Soltis, University of Florida, Gainesville

MJ 5-4

11:00AM – 11:30AM

Ralph Bock, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm