Botanical Society of America Awards Recipients 2021

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 awards provided by the Botanical Society of America. Here we provide recognition for outstanding efforts and contributions to the science of botany. We thank you for your support of these programs. Please note that in 2021 the Travel Awards were Registration Awards for Botany 2021 - Virtual!

Given by SECTIONS   Given by SECTIONS

Awards for Established Scientists

Distinguished Fellow of the Botanical Society of America
The "Distinguished Fellow of the Botanical Society of America" is the highest honor our Society bestows. Each year, the award committee solicits nominations, evaluates candidates, and selects those to receive an award. Awardees are chosen based on their outstanding contributions to the mission of our scientific Society. The committee identifies recipients who have demonstrated excellence in basic research, education, public policy, or who have provided exceptional service to the professional botanical community, or who may have made contributions to a combination of these categories.

To be announced

Charles Edwin Bessey Teaching Award (BSA in association with the Teaching Section and Education Committee)

To be announced

Darbaker Prize
The Darbaker Prize in Phycology is given each year in memory of Dr. Leasure K. Darbaker. It is presented to a resident of North America for meritorious work in the study of microscopic algae based on papers published in English by the nominee during the last two full calendar years. This year The Darbaker Award for meritorious work on microscopic algae is presented to:

To be announced

BSA Corresponding Members Award
Corresponding members are distinguished senior scientists who have made outstanding contributions to plant science and who live and work outside of the United States of America. Corresponding members are nominated by the Council, which reviews recommendations and credentials submitted by members, and elected by the membership at the annual BSA business meeting. Corresponding members have all the privileges of life-time members. 

To be announced


Donald R. Kaplan Memorial Lecture

M. Alejandra Gandolfo-Nixon, Cornell University

Jeanette Siron Pelton Award
The Jeanette Siron Pelton Award is given for sustained and imaginative productivity in the field of experimental plant morphology.

To be announced

The Grady L. and Barbara D. Webster Structural Botany Publication Award
This award was established in 2006 by Dr. Barbara D. Webster, Grady’s wife, and Dr. Susan V. Webster, his daughter, to honor the life and work of Dr. Grady L. Webster. After Barbara's passing in 2018, the award was renamed to recognize her contributions to this field of study. The American Society of Plant Taxonomists and the Botanical Society of America are pleased to join together in honoring both Grady and Barbara Webster. In odd years, the BSA gives out this award and in even years, the award is provided by the ASPT.

To be announced

The BSA Developing Nations Travel Grants

To be announced

The BSA Professional Member Travel Grants

To be announced

Awards for Established Scientists - Given by the Sections

Margaret Menzel Award (Genetics Section)
The Margaret Menzel Award is presented by the Genetics Section for the outstanding paper presented in the contributed papers sessions of the annual meetings.

To be announced

Samuel Noel Postlethwait Award
(Teaching Section)
The Samuel Noel Postlethwait Award is given for outstanding service to the BSA Teaching Section.

To be announced

Edgar T. Wherry Award
(Pteridological Section and the American Fern Society)
The Edgar T. Wherry Award is given for the best paper presented during the contributed papers session of the Pteridological Section. This award is in honor of Dr. Wherry’s many contributions to the floristics and patterns of evolution in ferns.

To be announced

Awards for Early Career Scientists

BSA Emerging Leaders Award

To be announced

BSA Public Policy Award
The Public Policy Award was established in 2012 to support the development of of tomorrow's leaders and a better understanding of this critical area.

No Award Given in 2021

Botany Advocacy Leadership Grant
This award organized by the Environmental and Public Policy Committees of BSA and ASPT aims to support local efforts that contribute to shaping public policy on issues relevant to plant sciences.

Rocio Deanna
, University of Colorado-Boulder, For the Proposal: ARG Plant Women Network

Karolina Heyduk, University of Hawaii, For the Proposal: Hawaiian Culture and the Herbarium

Carolyn Mills, California Botanic Garden/Claremont Graduate University, For the Proposal: Promoting Indigenous Co-management of Federal Lands in the Nopah Range


Outgoing BSA President

Linda Watson

Outgoing BSA Secretary

Rachel Spicer

Outgoing BSA Director-at-Large for Education

Chris Martine

Outgoing BSA Student Representative to the Board

Shelly Gaynor

Awards for Students

Donald R. Kaplan Award in Comparative Morphology
This award was created to promote research in plant comparative morphology, the Kaplan family has established an endowed fund, administered through the Botanical Society of America, to support the Ph.D. research of graduate students in this area.

To be announced

The BSA Graduate Student Research Award including the J. S. Karling Award
The BSA Graduate Student Research Awards support graduate student research and are made on the basis of research proposals and letters of recommendations. Withing the award group is the Karling Graduate Student Research Award. This award was instituted by the Society in 1997 with funds derived through a generous gift from the estate of the eminent mycologist, John Sidney Karling (1897-1994), and supports and promotes graduate student research in the botanical sciences.

The J. S. Karling Graduate Student Research Award

To be announced

The BSA Graduate Student Research Awards

To be announced


Vernon I. Cheadle Student Travel Awards (BSA in association with the Developmental and Structural Section)

This award was named in honor of the memory and work of Dr. Vernon I. Cheadle.

To be announced

Triarch "Botanical Images" Student Travel Awards
This award provides acknowledgement and travel support to BSA meetings for outstanding student work coupling digital images (botanical) with scientific explanations/descriptions designed for the general public.

To be announced 

The BSA Undergraduate Student Research Awards
The BSA Undergraduate Student Research Awards support undergraduate student research and are made on the basis of research proposals and letters of recommendation.

Anais Barnes, Bucknell University, For the Proposal: Assessing the geographic distribution and conservation status of Heuchera alba and Heuchera pubescens using field surveys, morphology and genomics methods

Jeffrey Heim, Bucknell University, For the Proposal: A population genomics approach to understanding the role of Indigenous foragers in the distribution and genetic diversity of an Australian wild bush tomato (Solanum diversiflorum)

Matthew Hilz, Saint Louis University, For the Proposal: Testing the effect of plant Age on phenotypic traits in the field

Hsin Kuo, National Taiwan University, For the Proposal: Evolution of the AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR Gene Family in Land Plants

Claire Marino, Bucknell University, For the Proposal: Solanum sp. ‘Deaf Adder,’ a New Bush Tomato Species from the Australian Monsoon Tropics

Theodore Matel, Cornell University, For the Proposal: Cunoniaceae fossil from the early Eocene (~58 m. y.) Laguna del Hunco, Huitrera Formation, Patagonia, Argentina

Ryan McGinnis, Drake University, For the Proposal: Battle of the sexes: Intra- and Interindividual floral variation in a native fruit tree, American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana, Ebenaceae)

Nola Rettenmaier, Cornell University, For the Proposal: Assessing NAM/CUC3 Expression in Costus spicatus

Nicholas Rocha, Cornell University, For the Proposal: The Role of Pollinators in the Phenotypic Diversity of calochortus venustus

Aryaman Saksena, Cornell University, For the Proposal: Evolution of Floral Fusion in the Banana Families

Emily Smith, Drake University, For the Proposal: The function of staminodes in the reproductive success and pollination ecology of American Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana (Ebenaceae)

Ethan Stolen, University of Florida, For the Proposal: The Impact of Genome Doubling on Gene Expression Noise in Arabidopsis thaliana

The BSA Young Botanist Awards
The purpose of these awards is to offer individual recognition to outstanding graduating seniors in the plant sciences and to encourage their participation in the Botanical Society of America.

Andrea Appleton, Georgia Southern University, Advisor: Dr. John Schenk

Olyvia Foster, University of Guelph, Advisor: Dr. Christina Caruso

Renée Geyer, Oberlin College, Santa Cruz, Advisor: Dr. Michael J. Moore

Jonathan Hayes, Bucknell University, Advisor: Dr. Christopher T. Martine

Jeff HeimBucknell University, Advisor: Dr. Christopher T. Martine

Emily Humphreys, Oberlin College, Advisor: Dr. Michael J. Moore

Kiana Lee, University of Guelph, Advisor: Dr. Christina Caruso

Michelle LiuOberlin College, Advisor: Dr. Michael J. Moore

Tallia Maglione, Connecticut College, Advisor: Dr. Rachel Spicer

Jordan Manchego, University of Alabama-Huntsville, Advisor: Dr. Alex Harkess

Livia Martinez, Barnard College - Columbia University, Advisor: Dr. Hilary Callahan

Colleen Mills, Weber State University, Advisor: Dr. Sue Harley

Abigail Moore, Ohio University, Advisor: Dr. John Schenk

Claire Pellegrini, Connecticut College, Advisor: Dr. Rachel Spicer

Eva Popp, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Advisor: Dr. Steven Handel

Riki Ross, University of Akron, Advisor: Dr. Randall Mitchell

Megan Soehnlen, Walsh University, Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Clevinger

Heather Wetreich, Bucknell University, Advisor: Dr. Christopher T. Martine

Shefka Williams, Connecticut College, Advisor: Dr. Rachel Spicer

The BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
The PLANTS (Preparing Leaders and Nurturing Tomorrow’s Scientists: Increasing the diversity of plant scientists) program recognizes outstanding undergraduates from diverse backgrounds and provides travel grant.

To be announced

Awards for Students - Given by the Sections

Genetics Section Student Research Awards
Genetics Section Student Research Awards provide $500 for research funding and an additional $500 for attendance at a future BSA meeting.

To be announced

Isabel Cookson Award (Paleobotanical Section)
Established in 1976, the Isabel Cookson Award recognizes the best student paper presented in the Paleobotanical Section

To be announced

Katherine Esau Award (Developmental and Structural Section)
This award was established in 1985 with a gift from Dr. Esau and is augmented by ongoing contributions from Section members. It is given to the graduate student who presents the outstanding paper in developmental and structural botany at the annual meeting.

To be announced

Physiological Section Li-COR Prize

(This year the Physiological Section awarded just one award for the combined Best Oral Paper & the Li-COR prize.)

To be announced

Physiological Section Student Poster Award

To be announced

Maynard Moseley Award (Developmental & Structural and Paleobotanical Sections)
The Maynard F. Moseley Award was established in 1995 to honor a career of dedicated teaching, scholarship, and service to the furtherance of the botanical sciences. Dr. Moseley, known to his students as “Dr. Mo”, died Jan. 16, 2003 in Santa Barbara, CA, where he had been a professor since 1949. He was widely recognized for his enthusiasm for and dedication to teaching and his students, as well as for his research using floral and wood anatomy to understand the systematics and evolution of angiosperm taxa, especially waterlilies. (PSB, Spring, 2003). The award is given to the best student paper, presented in either the Paleobotanical or Developmental and Structural sessions, that advances our understanding of plant structure in an evolutionary context.

To be announced

Ecological Section Student Presentation Award

To be announced


Ecological Section Poster Awards

To be announced 

Genetics Section Student Presentation Award

To be announced

A. J. Sharp Award - ABLS/Bryological and Lichenological Section

To be announced

Developmental & Structural Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced

Ecological Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced

Economic Botany Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced

Genetics Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced

Pteridological Section & American Fern Society Student Travel Awards

To be announced