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 populations. 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. Her most recent work involves ecological evaluations that are needed before researchers release genetically engineered, white-footed mice to combat Lyme disease in Massachusetts, where she is an Adjunct Professor at UMass/Amherst.
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.