Dr. Barbara SchaalDr. Barbara Schaal is the new President of AAAS and will serve for one year while continuing in her position as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington at St. Louis.  Dr. Schaal has also served as a science envoy at the State Department and as a member of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) under President Obama. Dr. Schaal is a plant evolutionary biologist recognized for her work on the genetics of plant species. She is known particularly for her studies that use DNA sequences to understand evolutionary processes such as gene flow, geographical differentiation, and the domestication of crop species.

Dr.Schaal was born in Berlin, Germany and grew up in Chicago, IL, USA. She graduated from the University of Illinois, Chicago, with a degree in biology, and received a doctorate from Yale University in 1974. She was on the faculty of the University of Houston and the Ohio State University before joining Washington University in 1980, where she has served as chair of the biology department.

Dr. Schaal has served on many editorial boards. She has been an Associate Editor for Molecular Biology and Evolution (1993-1999) and is currently an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Botany. She currently serves on the editorial boards of Functional Ecology (1986-present), Molecular Ecology (1991-present), and Conservation Genetics (1999-present). She has been an elected council member (1982-85) and Executive Vice President (1988-91) of the Society for the Study of Evolution. She has been Chairman of the Ecological Section (1885-86) and President of the Botanical Society of America (1995-96). She has served as a member of numerous review panels including the NIH Genetics Study Section, panels for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, NSF Task force on Biology and Behavioral Sciences in the 21st Century (1990-91), Chairman, Review Committee of Genetic Resources Unit, Center for International Tropical Agriculture, Cali Colombia (1997) numerous NSF review panels, and the Selection Committee, Sloan Young Investigator Award in Molecular Evolution (1995-98).