Welcome to new editors


Mark Rausher and Chris Cobbett have recently joined the Editorial Board of New Phytologist– we are delighted to welcome them to our expanding journal. New Phytologist appoints new Editors in order to widen the collective knowledge base of the Board and to provide clear indications of specific areas of plant science research in which we would like to encourage the submission of manuscripts.

Mark is based at the Department of Biology, Duke University, USA where his research encompasses the evolution and ecology of mating systems and plant interactions with ‘enemies’ (Rausher, 2001). The diverse range of research topics in Mark's lab can be seen on his web page (http://www.biology.duke.edu/research_by_area/eeob/rausher.html) – current efforts are directed at quantifying genetic variation in insect resistance and identifying those processes that maintain genetic variation in natural populations of plants. The addition of Mark to the Board will enhance New Phytologist’’s expertise in evolutionary biology, an area already reinvigorated in the journal through the appointment of Loren Rieseberg (Ayres, 2001; Rieseberg, 2001; Rieseberg et al., 2002). This is an area in which we are focussing attention this year in the 11th New Phytologist Symposium (see http://www.newphytologist.org/plantspeciation) and is one in which the journal is now establishing a very strong reputation (Armbruster, 2001; Brouat & McKey, 2001; Shaw, 2001; Gatehouse, 2002; Tewksbury, 2002).

Chris is a double first for New Phytologist. He is our first editorial appointment from Australia (Department of Genetics, University of Melbourne) and is also the first Editor in a rapid growth area for New Phytologist– heavy metal tolerance and phytoremediation (Ha et al., 1999; Cobbett, 2000). Research in Chris’ lab can be viewed at http://www.genetics.unimelb.edu.au/Cobbett/CC.html– the emphasis is on identifying the genetic mechanisms by which plants cope with different toxic metals. His research group was the first to show that a particular class of metal-binding peptides, the phytochelatins, is essential for cadmium tolerance. Research in the area of heavy metal tolerance has expanded steadily for the past few years to become a regular feature of New Phytologist, and one in which the Trust focussed at the 9th Symposium last year (Kraemer, 2003). Recent highlights in the journal in this area have included studies of phytochelatin production (Hartley-Whitaker et al., 2002; Pawlik-Skowronska et al., 2002) and the surge of interest in arsenic tolerance (Lombi et al., 2002; Meharg, 2002; Zhao et al., 2002; Bleeker et al., 2003).