Plant Physiology Names Michael Blatt as Next Editor

5th Jan 2012

The American Society of Plant Biologists has appointed Michael R. Blatt, PhD, FRSE, as the next editor-in-chief of its primary research journal Plant Physiology.

Plant Physiology is a monthly, international, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the physiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, biophysics, and environmental biology of plants. It was founded in 1926 and has risen to become one of the world’s most prominent plant biology journals, with a five-year impact factor of 7.016. It is the most highly cited plant science journal, garnering nearly 56,000 citations in 2010.

Blatt is the Regius Professor of Botany and Head of Plant Sciences within the Institute of Molecular, Cell, and Systems Biology at the University of Glasgow. He is a Guggenheim fellow; a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s national academy of sciences; and a fellow of the James Hutton Institute. He holds a dual BSc with honors in biochemistry and botany from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a PhD in biological sciences from Stanford University. He is currently a deputy chair of the editorial board of the Biochemical Journal, an editorial adviser for the Journal of Experimental Botany, and a member of the editorial panel for Frontiers in Plant Traffic and Transport.

Blatt is especially interested in continuing to develop the journal’s use of new technologies to ensure that it supports and embraces the way plant scientists work today. "I am convinced that Plant Physiology will strengthen its leading position in the field if it is able to take early advantage of the most far-reaching elements of online delivery,” he told the search committee in announcing his interest in the position.

"Mike brings energy and vision to the journal, and we are excited about the opportunities he brings to the journal for growth in new directions," says Sally Mackenzie, chair of the Editor Search Committee and the ASPB Publications Committee. ASPB President Steve Huber also expressed enthusiasm for Blatt’s selection, noting that "Mike brings strengths that will perpetuate Plant Physiology as a leading journal in the plant sciences in the years to come.”

Blatt will work closely with current chief editor Donald R. Ort, PhD, over the next year to ensure a smooth transition for the journal. Ort, who is plant physiologist and research leader with the Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Robert Emerson Professor in Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, has served as editor since 2005.

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