Katherine Esau worked on the development of resistance to Curly top virus (CTV) in sugar beets with Spreckles Sugar Company. She was recruited to the University of California, Berkeley, by the chair of the Botany Division at Davis. Esau received her Ph.D. degree in 1931, continuing her work on CTV. She worked on plant anatomy, studying virus movement in the plants, and was the first to demonstrate virus movement through the phloem. She became one of the foremost plant anatomists in the world and received several prestigious awards, including membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the President’s National Medal of Science. She wrote a widely used textbook in 1953 called Plant Anatomy followed by Anatomy of Seed Plants in 1960.
(Submitted for publication in July 2008.)