Allison Snow

Professor Emeritus of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology

Dr. Allison A. Snow is a Distinguished Fellow of the Botanical Society of America and a Distinguished Emerita Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences, Ohio State University.  She studies emerging issues in biotechnology and ecological impacts of genetically engineered organisms.  Trained as a plant ecologist at Hampshire College (BA, 1975) and the University of Massachusetts (PhD, 1982), she received postdoctoral fellowships from the National Science Foundation (University of California/Davis) and the Smithsonian Institution before joining the OSU faculty in 1988.  Her early work focused on understanding links between pollination ecology, gene flow, and natural selection in wild plants.  Dr. Snow’s later research combined molecular and ecological approaches to document hybridization between crops and their wild relatives, the extent to which genetically engineered traits could benefit weedy plants, and rapid evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds.  She has more than 100 publications and is the lead author of a 2005 position paper by the Ecological Society of America on environmental effects of genetically engineered organisms.  A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, Dr. Snow served on the editorial boards of Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Evolution, Frontiers in Ecology, and Environmental Biosafety Research.  She also served as President of the Botanical Society of America and Treasurer of the International Society for Biosafety Research.  In 2010, she advised President Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues on the topic of synthetic biology.  She has advised the US National Academies of Science, the US Department of Agriculture, the US Agency for International Development, the World Trade Organization, and has served on the US National Genetic Resources Advisory Board (2012-2015), which focuses on maintaining genetic diversity for crop breeding.  Dr. Snow received a Distinguished Scholar Award from OSU in 2002.  She founded and led the OSU Office of Undergraduate Research from 2006-2015. 

Dr. Snow’s graduate students include Sandra Whisler, MS 1991; Kathleen Cochrane, MS 1993; Jennifer Windus, MS 1993; Katryn Syverson, MS 1994; Robert Klips, PhD 1995; Pedro Moran-Palma, PhD 1997; Carolee Franklin, MS 1998; Theresa Culley, PhD 2000; Lawrence Spencer, PhD 2001; Kristen Uthus, PhD 2001; Sarena Mattson Selbo, MS 2001; Su Su, MS 2006; Michael Reagon, PhD 2006; Lesley Campbell, PhD 2007; Amy Stottlemyer, PhD 2012; Asfaw Ageru Adugna, PhD 2012, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Shannon Zaret, MS 2013; Hsiaochi Chang, PhD 2015; Destiny Palik, PhD 2017; and Zachery Beres, PhD 2019.