Corresponding Member Award


This honor, initially given in 1932, provides life membership and Society publications to distinguished plant biologists from outside the United States. The honor is conferred by election on the annual ballot. The committee selects no more than three (3) candidates, and these are placed on the ballot for approval of corresponding membership by majority vote. The president notifies successful candidates of their election. Election of a corresponding member is to be considered each year, and held if warranted, provided the election will not increase the number of corresponding members beyond two (2) percent of the dues-paying membership.

Susanne von Caemmerer was awarded a Corresponding Member Award in 2013 from the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Citation: Susanne von Caemmerer is a professor at The Australian National University at Canberra. Susanne’s stellar career was initiated in 1980 by the publication, with colleagues, of a model of C3 photosynthesis that revolutionized thinking and analysis of limitations to photosynthesis. Subsequently, the model was widely validated, and it is now used almost universally in the analysis of studies of photosynthetic carbon dioxide uptake by plants. Susanne is noted for seeing critical questions and combining the unambiguity of testable mathematical representations with elegant and careful experiments in measurements of photosynthesis. During her career she has worked on development and testing of models for C3, C3–C4 intermediate, and C4 photosynthesis, research that has provided equations and approaches widely used today. Her book, Biochemical Models of Photosynthesis (2000), is an invaluable resource. Susanne was also among the first to use transgenic plants to address key questions on limitations to photosynthesis. By combining analyses using transgenic plants with modeling approaches, she has made significant contributions toward understanding biochemical limitations on photosynthesis in C3 and C4 plants under varying light, CO2, and temperature conditions. Susanne’s published work is highly cited, and she has been in great demand as a speaker. This includes her presentation in a major symposium on Photosynthesis and Climate Change at Plant Biology 2002 and the keynote address at the 2011 Gordon Conference on CO2 Assimilation in Plants from Genome to Biome. In recognition of her accomplishments, Susanne has been elected to the Australian Academy of Science, as well as to the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher, Leopoldina. Equally, she has given her time selflessly for scientific journals, including her role as associate editor for Plant Physiology (2006–2012); organization of conferences; and most importantly, her encouragement and promotion of younger scientists in the field of photosynthesis.