Crag News

Dr Elena Monte, new elected member of the Board of Directors at the American Society of Plant Biologists

CSIC scientist at CRAG, Elena Monte, begins her term as elected member of the Board of Directors at the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). Elected by ASPB membership last June, her cycle of service to the Society will extend over four years.

ASPB is a professional society devoted to advancing plant science research and education. The Society was founded in 1924 to promote the growth and development of plant biology, to encourage and publish research in plant biology, and to promote the interests, growth, and education of plant scientists in general. Over the decades, the Society has evolved and expanded to provide a forum for molecular and cellular biology, as well as to serve the basic interests of plant science. It publishes the highly cited and respected journals Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell. Membership spans six continents, playing a key role in uniting the international plant science disciplines, and their members work in such diverse areas as academia, government laboratories, and industrial and commercial environments.

Among the ASPB’s thirteen standing committees, the Board of Directors is the Society’s decision-making body, charged with maintaining the activities of the Society in furthering the science of plant biology. Last June, Elena Monte was elected member of the Board of Directors by the membership at large to four-year terms, beginning her new service roles for ASPB on October 1, 2021.

Elena Monte leads the Environmental control of plant and algae growth research group at CRAG. She obtained her B.Sc. in Biology and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). She conducted postdoctoral research at the Plant Gene Expression Center (PGEC)-USDA/U.C. Berkeley, and was a Ramon y Cajal fellow at the Institute of Molecular Biology of Barcelona (IBMB-CSIC). Elena’s research interests focus on how the light environment shapes the growth and responses of photosynthetic organisms, exploring the mechanistic interplay of light signaling with endogenous and ambient cues. Her objectives address how plants adapt to changing environments. Using Arabidopsis, rice, and the microalgae Chlamydomonas, research in Elena’s lab explores the fundamental cellular processes that lead from photoreception to photoprotection and adaptation, with the objective of contributing to building resilient crops.

For a better future for our planet and its inhabitants, Elena recognizes the interdependence of all living organisms and systems, and the leading role that the plant science community represented by ASPB needs to play. She supports the objectives outlined by the Plant science decadal vision 2020–2030: Reimagining the potential of plants for a healthy and sustainable future; and, as we are starting the 2020 decade, Elena would like to inspire and emphasize the importance of supporting women and diversity in plant science, as well as improving engagement with minority communities. She envisions a future where collaborative and transdisciplinary science is more widely encouraged and incentivized, with direct support for early career scientists. Furthermore, she also has an interest in advancing the dialogue between arts and plant science by promoting collaborative projects to foster public engagement.