News & Announcements

Professor Om Parkash Dhanker has received a Fellow of ASPB Award.

04/26/2024 - 4:45pm

ASPB Fellow Award is granted in recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the Society by current members in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach, and professional and public service.

Le Liu got an innovator's travel award from PPSystems to attend ASPB!

04/26/2024 - 11:00am

Le received the PP Systems Innovator’s Travel Award for her research on high-throughput phenotyping methods of stomatal physiology and morphology in maize. She will be attending the ASPB conference this summer! Congratulations, Le!

PB students Le Liu, Bahman Khahani and Maryam Rashidzade are invited to attend the 2024 New Phytologist Next generations scientists symposium.

02/01/2024 - 2:15pm

Le Liu from Facette Lab, Bahman Khahani from Hazen Lab and Maryam Rashidzade from Caicedo Lab have been invited to present their research at the 2024 New Phytologist Next Generation Scientists Symposium at Duke University this summer.

PB first year student, Jessica Yeh published a first-author paper in CelI

02/01/2024 - 12:30pm

Congratulations to Jessica Yen, a first-year targeted student in Cheung Lab, on her remarkable achievement. She has recently published a paper in Cell titled "Extracellular pectin-RALF phase separation mediates FERONIA global signaling function" This paper significantly contributes to her focused area of study on the signaling of plant growth regulators in Arabidopsis thaliana. 

You Say Tomato, These UMass Amherst Scientists Say Evolutionary Mystery

10/11/2023 - 9:15am

UMass Biochemist Sibongile Mafu Receives NSF Grant for Legume Crop Resilience and Productivity Research. See article here

10/11/2023 - 9:15am

PB PhD student Leannah Hicks selected as NCGA Research Ambassador

08/08/2023 - 4:45pm

Leannah Hicks will be part of the 2023–24 Ambassador Program of the National Corn Growers Association, designed for graduate students involved in research relevant to corn production and that demonstrate academic excellence and leadership potential. She will receive a financial award as well as funding to attend scientific conferences. Congratulations, Leannah!

Calling all CNS Grad Students!

06/20/2023 - 1:45pm

Happy end of the semester and start of summer! To celebrate, join your fellow grad students for an evening of food, fun, and trivia presented by CNS and Life Science Café and sponsored by your Graduate Student Organizations! Show off your science, UMass, and Sci-Fi knowledge on the 29th of June at 6pm at the Hangar Bar and Grill (10 University Dr., Amherst, MA)

We’ll buy the food and you buy the drinks! We hope to see you there!

Pre-register your trivia team and win an extra trivia point! Make a team ahead of time or join one day-of! Maximum of 8 people per group please. If there are more, feel free to break into two groups!

There will be questions across 5 different topics so get ready to be challenged!

Any questions? Please email:

Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Vierling elected to the Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences section of the National Academy of Sciences

05/05/2023 - 1:45pm

Elizabeth Vierling is Professor at the University of Massachusettes Amherst and Founding Member of the ASPB Legacy Society. She majored in Botany as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and got hooked on lab research during a junior year abroad Freiburg, Germany. After a brief year as a technician at Northwestern University, she got a PhD in Biology at the University of Chicago studying the biogenesis of photosystem I. Her postdoc with Joe L. Key at the University of Georgia started her on research on heat shock proteins (HSPs), first focusing on chloroplasts. This work continued in her faculty position in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, where work expanded from chloroplast sHSPs to homologues in the cytosol and Hsp101, and then into isolating Arabidopsis thaliana mutants defective in heat tolerance. Projects now encompass not only HSPs, but also how nitric oxide homeostasis impacts growth and fertility and the control of mitochondrial gene expression and respiration. She’s now at the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, and writes that “My research includes collaborations across the world that have been wonderfully enriching and expanded my research program in interesting and productive ways.”

Le Liu selected to be a CNS Leadership Fellow

04/28/2023 - 1:30pm

Le Liu, a Ph.D. student in the Plant Biology program, was selected to be a CNS Leadership Fellow. Le will work with Associate Dean Karen Helfer on initiatives related to career preparation as well as on programming addressing diversity, equity and inclusion.