Open Access publisher PeerJ have announced their second Editor-in-Chief partnership for the Open Advances series of journals. Professors Ute Roessner and Luis E. Eguiarte have agreed to take on the leadership of PeerJ Open Advances in Plant Science as Co-Editors-in-Chief.
Professors Roessner and Eguiarte are highly respected, award-winning scientists working at the forefront of their fields. As Co-Editors-in-Chief they will provide the scientific leadership for the journal, starting with recruiting an Editorial Board who will work with them to define the ‘Global Challenges’ which the journal will take on.
Professor Roessner AM FAA is Academic Director for Research Initiatives and Infrastructure at the Australian National University; she is one of Australia's foremost plant scientists and a world leader in the field of metabolomics.
Whilst at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Germany, Roessner developed novel gas chromatography–mass spectrometry methods to analyze metabolites in plants. In 2003 she moved to Australia where she established a metabolomics platform as part of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, and was involved in the setup of Metabolomics Australia (MA). In 2017, Roessner was elected as a Lifetime Honorary Fellow of the International Metabolomics Society. Between 2018 and 2022, Roessner was Head of the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne, before taking up her current role at ANU. In 2021 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours for "significant service to tertiary education, particularly to the biosciences", and the following year was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. In 2023, she was awarded with the Australian New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry Morrison Medal for her contributions to the field of metabolomics. She has published almost 200 peer-reviewed articles, and been cited over 19,500 times.
“I am extremely excited to take on this role in collaboration with Luis to set the scene for a new approach of publishing at a time where the financial drivers in the publishing world have resulted in many disadvantages to scientists and researchers who simply can’t afford expensive open access fees. This new journal hopefully will allow us to publish exciting research and novel ideas and opinions driving advances in the plant sciences, ultimately contributing to addressing societal challenges such as food security or environmental sustainability,” says Professor Roessner.
Luis E. Eguiarte is a Professor of Evolutionary Ecology in the Institute of Ecology of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM), and is one of Mexico's most prolific and creative researchers of plant evolution. After his Post Doc at the University of California, Riverside, where he worked with Professor Michael T. Clegg, Eguiarte returned to his alma mater, UNAM and helped start the field of conservation genetics in Mexico, a country that is among the world's most biodiverse.
Mexico is one of the centers of early human plant domestication, which has led to Eguiarte employing genetic approaches to analyze the domestication and origins of important Mexican plants such as maize and squashes. He and his colleagues have unraveled the recent adaptive radiation of agave driven by the aridification of North America, thereby providing deep insights into how climate change can drive ecosystem evolution. A recipient of the Faustino Miranda Medal in recognition of his academic contribution and an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2022 Eguiarte received, together with Valeria Souza, the Howard Scott Gentry Research and Conservation Award. He has published over 230 peer-reviewed articles and 75 book chapters, and written or edited 14 books. He has been cited over 17,000 times.
“I have been an Academic Editor for PeerJ since 2014, and I am extremely excited to participate in this new series of journals. I deeply believe in the importance of open science and transparent peer review processes, avoiding cliques and mafias of power. I am particularly delighted to launch an open journal that will never charge for publishing; this can be a game-changer for scientists in poor countries of the Global South and elsewhere. I am enthusiastic to work with Ute, as I believe that our approaches complement each other in a wonderful way, while sharing a view of what is important in science for a changing world.” said Professor Eguiarte.
The journal’s focus on the most important global challenges in plant science means that its scope will evolve as questions are answered, new avenues of investigation are discovered and new challenges facing plant science research are identified. Roessner and Eguiarte will work closely with the Editorial Board to identify the challenges that the journal will tackle, and oversee the creation of an evidence base which will address those challenges.
Stephen Johnson, Publishing Editor for the Open Advances series, said “Ute and Luis are a great leadership team for PeerJ Open Advances in Plant Science and I am excited to work with them to build an editorial team and define the journal’s scope. In common with other titles in the series, we look forward to publishing important work with no financial barriers to publication or access, while continuing to meet the highest standards of ethics and data availability.”
PeerJ recently announced that Professors Lesley Rogers and Michael Wink will take the helm of PeerJ Open Advances in Zoology. All journals in the Open Advances Series have committed to always be fee-free for both authors and readers.