Barbara A. Schaal

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Barbara Anna Schaal (born 1947 in Berlin, Germany, naturalized in 1956) American scientist, evolutionary biologist, is a professor at Washington University in St. Louis and vice president of the National Academy of Sciences. She is the first woman to be elected vice president of the Academy. Since April 2009, Schaal has served on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).[1]

Schaal grew up in Chicago, 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 Ohio State University before joining Washington University in 1980, where she has served as chair of the biology department. In 2009, Schaal was named the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University. She has been president of the Botanical Society of America and president of the Society for the Study of Evolution.

Schaal is best known for her work on the genetics of plant species. She is known particularly well for her studies that use molecular genetic data to understand evolutionary processes such as gene flow, geographical differentiation, and the domestication of crop species.

In September 2012 it was announced that Schaal will become Washington University’s next dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, effective Jan. 1, 2013.


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