Science 6 August 2010:
Profile: Douglas and Pamela Soltis:
The Power of Two
A University of Florida couple studying the evolution of flowering plants shows the value of doubled genomes—and joined careers.
"They are the most powerful, productive couple that may have ever been in botany, certainly in my generation," says John Kress, an evolutionary biologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The Soltises helped bring plant systematics into the molecular age, according to peers. And their innovations have led to firsts in "approaches to questions and ultimately first answers to questions," says Vaughan Symonds, a former postdoc now at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Early adopters of new techniques—including molecular DNA tools—as students in the 1980s, the Soltises have shown how rapid progress can be when two minds focus on a single research program. Says Jeffrey Doyle, a systematist at Cornell University, "They are so energetic and active that seeing Doug and Pam moving into your areas is a little frightening."
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