Dr. Barbara Reed received her B.S. degree in Biology from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1971. She went on to achieve her M.S. in Botany and Plant Pathology (1974) and Ph.D. in Botany (1977) from Oklahoma State University. Barbara has had a long and productive career, based at the USDA ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, OR, from which she recently retired. She is considered by many to be the expert in plant tissue cryopreservation, and she literally “wrote the book” on the subject, when she edited the volume entitled Plant Cryopreservation—a Practical Guide
, in 2008.
Barbara’s contributions to the fields of in vitro plant biology and cryopreservation are too many to list them all. She is the author of 190 publications, with 129 in peer-reviewed journals. She has also authored or co-authored 2 books, 12 book chapters, 19 proceedings papers, 2 theses, 4 handbooks of laboratory protocols, and 6 web-based educational tools. She has advised 9 M.S. and 9 Ph.D. students, and provided short-term training to over 40 visiting international scientists in her laboratory. Barbara’s primary focus while at the USDA included the development of improved and broadly applicable methods for tissue culture of crop germplasm for the repository and the development of cryopreservation methods to facilitate the future storage of germplasm in liquid nitrogen. She has been instrumental in advancing the application of computer-assisted design and modeling for improving mineral nutrition for in vivo
cultures. Collaborating with and expanding on the initial research from Dr. Randall Niedz, Dr. Reed has successfully improved the growth medium for several important agronomic fruit and nut cultivars for the state of Oregon, which has been widely shared, contributing to her global impact on the fundamental research in plant preservation.
Barbara’s willingness to mentor and to share her knowledge is something that many from her field and within SIVB have benefited from. From the letters of support for Barbara’s Lifetime Achievement nomination several statements stand out. One letter said, “Barbara has been a consistent mentor and advocate for visiting students, not only those from the United States, but from countries that span the globe. From my experience, this ability and desire to share expertise at a global level is unique and rare among career scientists.” And finally, another wrote, “Dr. Reed should be considered a mentor to the plant preservationists of the world. With increasing climate change having drastic negative effects on plant species across the globe, it is with the commitment and quality of research from such a scientist as Dr. Reed that the future of this diverse planet is in a better place than if she had not been able to share her expertise.”
Barbara has also served the Society in a wide variety of ways. She has been a member at large for the Governing Board (1996-2000), Secretary (2000-2002), Reviewing Editor for In Vitro – Plant
(1997-2004), Associate Editor for In Vitro – Plant
(2005-present), and Publications Committee Chair (2008-2012). She has also been very instrumental in encouraging new members and students in the Society, making them feel at home and helping them become active members of the Society for In Vitro Biology.
Submitted by Mary Welter