Carnegie’s Jones recognized for early career contributions to plant science

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Plant Science
Carnegie’s Alexander Jones will receive the Tansley Medal for Excellence in Plant Science.

Stanford, CA—Carnegie’s Alexander Jones will receive the Tansley Medal for Excellence in Plant Science. The honor includes publishing a short review, an editorial written about his work in the journal New Phytologist, and a small bursary.

The journal’s Tansley Medal, named after early 20th century botanist Sir Arthur Tansley, is awarded each year in recognition of “outstanding contribution to research in plant science by an individual in the early stages of their career.” Each recipient authors a short review piece about the subject area of his or her work in the journal. Carnegie’s Li-Qing Chen was the 2013 recipient of this leading award to postdoctoral researchers in plant sciences and William Anderegg, formerly of Carnegie, was the 2014 recipient.

Jones is a senior research associate in the Frommer lab in Carnegie’s Plant Biology Department. He studies chemical signaling pathways involving proteins in the cellular membrane that surrounds each cell.

The subject of his short review is the plant hormone abscisic acid, which is crucial to a plant’s response to stress. New sensor tools should help plant biologists map the concentrations of abscisic acid in different areas of a plant over time to watch how it responds to water shortages and other stresses.

His major contributions were the development of the first plant membrane protein interactome (published in Science Magazine in 2014) and the engineering of the first bio-sensors that can quantitatively monitor the drought hormone abscisic acid with unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution (eLife 2014). He has a lot of new work in the pipeline.

“I am happy and proud that the creative and hard work Alexander has performed, led to the highest recognition for a plant scientist at this stage of the career, the Tansley Medal,” said Wolf B. Frommer, Director of the Department of Plant Biology and leader of the research team. “Particularly in light of the California drought, this type of work will become increasingly important not just to other plant scientists, but to the whole country.”

Jones just accepted a position at the famous Sainsbury lab in Cambridge, UK. His article is available here