Tansley Medal for Dr. Frederic Lens
Dr. Frederic Lens has been awarded the New Phytologist Tansley Medal for Excellence in plant science for 2011. The Tansley Medal award is an annual prize in recognition of an outstanding contribution to research in plant science by an individual in the early stages of their career. Frederic receives the Tansley Medal for his research paper, entitled ‘Testing hypotheses that link wood anatomy to cavitation resistance and hydraulic conductivity in the genus Acer’, and co-authored by John Sperry, Mairgareth Christman, Brendan Choat, David Rabaey and Steven Jansen. The paper will be published in the April issue of New Phytologist (vol. 190 no. 3; DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03518.x), accompanied by a comment from the Editor-in-Chief.
The integrative paper studies in-depth anatomical observations using light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy of seven Acer taxa, and compares these observations with empirical measures of xylem hydraulics. Measures of the water transport in woody stems, carried out during a research visit in the lab of John Sperry (Salt Lake City, USA), correspond to distinctions in drought adaptation among the Acer species studied, and can be clearly correlated to differences in wood anatomical characters within these closely related taxa. This anatomical-physiological approach enabled the authors to better understand the functional value of wood characters that play a major role in drought adaptation of plants.