By: Karyn Houston
Plant and Microbial Biology Department Chair Brian Staskawicz, Citation Recipient Russell Jones, and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer. Professor Jones was presented with the Berkeley Citation at a reception honoring PMB faculty
The Berkeley Citation was awarded on Friday, November 19, 2010 to Russell Jones of Plant & Microbial Biology in the College of Natural Resources in honor of his distinguished and extraordinary service to the University. The award was presented by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer on behalf of Chancellor Birgeneau.
Russell Jones has been a member of the Berkeley faculty since 1966. He rose through the ranks from Assistant Professor, and served as Chairman of the Department of Botany from 1981 to 1986. Jones also chaired the Lawrence Hall of Science Advisory Committee, the College of Letters and Science Committee on Courses and three Academic Senate Committees: the Committee on Research, the Committee on Committees, and the Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations.
Extensive service to his discipline is a hallmark of Russell Jones’ career. He served as Editor of Planta, Associate Editor and Editor of the Annual Reviews of Plant Biology, and Associate Editor of Plant Physiology. For his profession he served as President of the American Society of Plant Biologists and of the International Plant Growth Substances Association.
Jones taught a wide range of courses at Berkeley, including those for beginning undergraduates (Biology 1 and Biology 11), courses for majors in plant biology (Plant Physiology and Biochemistry) and for graduate students (Plant Biology 200). He has also taught numerous Freshman and Graduate seminars. With his colleagues Bob Buchanan and Willi Gruissem he also co-authored Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants, a textbook that has had a major impact on the teaching of this subject in the USA and worldwide.
Jones studies how plants respond to environmental signals, especially hormones and other regulatory molecules. His research has focused on the biochemistry and molecular biology of seeds, in particular seed dormancy and germination. The importance of this work can be gauged from the fact that seeds make up more than 80% of human energy input.
Russell Jones credits much of his success to the exceptional academic environment at Berkeley. Berkeley attracts the best young scholars, and it is these talented individuals who challenge faculty and contribute to the pleasure and success of research programs.
“It would be difficult to imagine a Berkeley faculty member with broader service contributions at all levels than Jones – to the campus, the wider system and to his profession,” said Prof. John Taylor of the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, who was part of the group that nominated Prof. Jones.
The Berkeley Citation is awarded to distinguished people or organizations whose attainments significantly exceed the standards of excellence in their fields and whose contributions to UC Berkeley are manifestly above and beyond the call of duty. For a description and history of the Berkeley Citation see http://awards.berkeley.edu/berkeleyCitation.cfm