Gwyn Beattie received a B.A. in Chemistry from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After doing post-doctoral research at the University of California-Berkeley in microbial ecology, she took a position at Iowa State University where she is currently the Robert Earle Buchanan Distinguished Professor of Bacteriology for Research and Nomenclature. Beattie’s research examines the genomics and ecology of plant-associated microbes to better understand the factors driving successful plant colonization and the many impacts that microbes can have on plant health. Current projects are exploring the role of the rhizosphere microbiome in influencing the water use efficiency of plants and the roles of light-sensing and environmental stress in the virulence and ecological fitness of the foliar pathogen Pseudomonas syringae, with collaborative work addressing the genetic factors that influence the host preference and pathogenicity of the vascular pathogen Erwinia tracheiphila.
Dr. Beattie is engaged in science policy through her current role as the Chair of the American Phytopathological Society Public Policy Board. Through this role and her service on the Board of Directors of the International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research and organizing committees of multiple international phytobiome conferences, she has been engaged in advancing phytobiome science. She has served as a Senior Editor for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, a panelist on many USDA and NSF grant panels, a Panel Manager for the USDA-NRI Microbial Associations with Plants Program, and on the Editorial Board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. She teaches Bacterial-Plant Interactions, Microbial Ecology, the Biology of Microorganisms, and the Responsible Conduct of Research, and has a wonderful team of scientists, post-docs, graduate students and undergraduates in her research group.