Barbara A. Schaal

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Barbara Anna Schaal
Barbara Schaal.jpg
Born 1947
Berlin, Germany
Citizenship United States
Institutions Washington University in St. Louis
Alma mater Yale University,
University of Illinois, Chicago
Doctoral advisor Donald Levin[1]

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).[2][3]

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 was formerly the director of Tyson Research Center and has been president of the Botanical Society of America and president of the Society for the Study of Evolution.[4][5]

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.[4]

Schaal became Washington University’s dean of Arts & Sciences on January 1, 2013.[6] In 2015 Schaal was elected as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and assumed the position in 2016.[5][4]


  1. ^ "Washington U. scientist Barbara Schaal named to presidential panel". St. Louis Beacon. June 7, 2009. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Barbara A. Schaal". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ "PCAST Members". The White House. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Barbara Schaal Chosen to Serve as AAAS President-Elect". AAAS. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Barbara Schaal chosen president-elect of AAAS". Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Nationally renowned professor named Dean of Arts and Sciences". Student Life. Retrieved April 24, 2015.