Newswise — ST. LOUIS, MO, April 28, 2020 – The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced that Elizabeth (Toby) Kellogg, Ph.D., Robert E. King Distinguished Investigator and member of the Danforth Center, was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

As one of the leading plant biologists in the world studying the grasses, Kellogg’s work revolutionized the understanding of the evolution of cereal crops and their wild relatives. She has used natural diversity to unlock the genetic potential of crops, and conversely, the genetic tools of crops to understand natural diversity. Kellogg’s work over the years revealed the genetic and developmental bases of morphological, anatomical and physiological features of plants that comprise vital native grasslands and some of our most important domesticated crops. 

“We are thrilled to see Toby recognized for her ground-breaking scientific achievements, and we celebrate her receiving this high honor,” said Jim Carrington, president of the Danforth Plant Science Center. “She represents the very best of the Danforth Center and the broader plant biology community.”

The National Academy of Sciences has membership comprised of the nation’s leading scientists, and is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Election as a member is one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.

“It was a complete surprise!  I’m honored and grateful – and still astonished - to have been elected,” said Kellogg. “It’s a reminder that none of us is successful without years of support and collaboration from lab members, colleagues, friends and family, cheering us on.”  

The Kellogg laboratory studies genomes, growth, and development of sorghum, maize, and their wild relatives, using biodiversity research to make ecosystems and agriculture more sustainable. Their work identifies deep similarities among plants as apparently disparate as rice, wheat, maize, and the other cereals. Because similarity and difference are two sides of the same coin, in the process they have also discovered genes that contribute to the diversity of the great cereals of the world.

About the National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.  The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community. Approximately 500 current and deceased members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in 1914, is today one of the premier international journals publishing the results of original research.

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a nonprofit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education and outreach aim to have impact at the nexus of food security and the environment, and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and through the support of individuals and corporations. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter