Brock professor earns co-editor role with scientific journal Botany

Biological Sciences Professor Liette Vasseur recently accepted a five-year co-editor appointment with the acclaimed scientific journal Botany, including an option to renew it for an additional five years.

“It’s certainly an honour to be involved,” says Vasseur, who began working with the journal in 1998. “I first became an associate editor; at the time, it was called the Canadian Journal of Botany.”

Her current research for Brock University’s Faculty of Mathematics and Science is in plant science.

“My main focus is on examining how plants adapt to climatic and environmental changes,” says Vasseur. “The research is mainly conducted in rural communities, in vineyards, vegetable farms or pastures. In addition, I continue examining how we can better understand the population ecology and genetic of species at risk in order to restore their populations.”

Co-editors differ from associate editors by being asked to read submissions from a wider range of topics. Vasseur says she’s looking forward to reading various types of article in her role.

“As associate editor, you tend to be focused on your expertise only,” she says. “This will allow me to read other subjects and also meet the associate editors.”

She believes she was selected for the honour likely because she’s “been with the journal for quite a long time and I tend to be rigorous in the reviews. The area of ecology is also a very popular component of the journal.”

Vasseur also credits her bilingualism as being a strong point for the journal, which is also bilingual. She hopes to help bring an even higher profile to the journal by “having more people submitting quality manuscripts and knowing more people are reading the articles in the journals.”

The fields of research featured in the journal have a lot to offer.

“It goes from mycorrhizal inoculation mitigation and plant biomechanics to pollination and microbial interaction and plant species migration,” she says. “In fact, it is a vast field and many new discoveries are found on a regular basis.”

Mathematics and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed is “pleased to hear about the appointment and happy to hear a faculty member will be representing the team as co-editor of a well-respected journal. Congratulations to Vasseur for her many years of research and contributions to the field.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many areas of research are challenging to complete, but Vasseur is looking for the roses among the thorns.

“Studying plants in an agricultural setting means I am especially encouraging people at home to think about starting their own gardens,” she says. “It’s not too complicated and brings joy, as well as education for kids.”

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