Botanical Society of America Awards Recipients 2022

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 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. 

Given by SECTIONS   Given by SECTIONS

Student Presentation and Poster Awards

Student Travel Awards (STA)

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.

Dr. Pamela Diggle, University of Connecticut


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

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


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


Donald R. Kaplan Memorial Lecture

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.

No award given in 2022


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 BSA Developing Nations Travel Grants

Maribel Arenas-Navarro, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

João Iganci, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil

Sebastián Martínez-Salazar, Universidad De Antioquia, Colombia

Funmilola Mabel OJO, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Nigeria

Yesenia Madrigal Bedoya, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Malka Saba, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

Olubunmi Sharaibi, Lagos State University, Ojo Campus, Nigeria

Hugo Valdebenito, Universidad San Francisco de Quito / Herbarium QUSF, Ecuador

Aleena Xavier, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal, India


The BSA Professional Member Travel Grants

Irene Cobo-Simon, University Of Connecticut

Kyra N. Krakos, Maryville University

Benjamin Lee, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Ellie Mendelson, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Maria Cristina Rengifo Faiffer, Michigan Technological University

Mathew Sharples, Independent/Contractor

Carolina Siniscalchi, Mississippi State University

Qiang Sun, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Brittany Verrico, University of Vermont

Cheng-Chiang Wu, National Taiwan University


Awards for Established Scientists - Given by the Sections


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


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


Awards for Early Career Scientists


AJB Synthesis Papers and Prize

To be announced


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. To learn more about the winning projects click here.

Sara E. Hansen
, PhD Student, Earth and Ecosystem Science, Central Michigan University
Rhea Ewing, Visual artist,
Anna K. Monfils, Professor and Director of CMU Herbarium, Department of Biology, Central Michigan University

For the proposal: Creating Inclusive Resources for Botanical Science Education


BSA Emerging Leaders Award

Dr. Karolina Heyduk, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa


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.

Brendan Kosnik, Arkansas State University

Zack Quirk, University of Washington



Outgoing BSA President

Michael Donoghue

Outgoing BSA Treasurer

Linda McDade

Outgoing BSA Director-at-Large for Publications

Emily Sessa

Outgoing BSA Student Representative to the Board

Imeña Valdes


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.

Yesenia Madrigal Bedoya
, University of Antioquia (Colombia), For the Proposal: A Morpho-anatomical characterization of the vegetative-to-reproductive meristematic transition in terrestrial and epiphytic neotropical orchids


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.

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.

Caroline Bendickson, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, For the Proposal: Building a Molecular-based Phylogeny for the Genus Trillium Using Angiosperms353 Bait Capture Sequencing

Cesar Galan, Cornell University, For the Proposal: Travel to Harvard University Herbaria Collections; Access to Additional Sample Specimens

Jack Hatajik, University of Pittsburgh, For the Proposal: Mapping the population dynamics of the invasive Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) in response to climate

Isabeau Lewis, Queen's University, For the Proposal: Kin discrimination and plastic responses in growth and flowering in a clonal plant

Nicholas Rocha, Cornell University, For the Proposal: The Attractiveness of visual traits of calochortus venustus to insect pollinators

Erika Sipos, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, For the Proposal: A Phylogenetic and Biogeographical Study of Parsonsia (Apocyanceae)


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.

Christina Andreski, Plymouth State University, Advisor: Diana Jolles

Anais Barnes, Bucknell University, Advisor: Christopher Martine

Charles Boissavy, Oberlin College, Advisor: Michael Moore

Caroline Brose, Colorado College, Advisor: Rachel Jabaily

Emma Cooley, Fort Lewis College, Advisor: Ross McCauley

Carmen David, University of California, Davis, Advisor: Jennifer Gremer

Adalie Duran, Connecticut College, Advisor: Rachel Spicer

Josh Felton, Colorado College, Advisor: Rachel Jabaily

Tori Ford, University of Florida, Advisor: Makenzie Mabry

Sharon Haley Spiess, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Advisor: Benjamin Gahagen

Norbaya Jameela Durr, Elmhurst University, Advisor: Kasey Pham

Stephanie Kate, San Francisco State University, Advisor: Jason Cantley

Kaitlin Schieuer, South Dakota State University, Advisor: Maribeth Latvis

Caroline Shaw, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Advisor: Benjamin Gahagen

Edward Spagnuolo, Pennsylvania State University, Advisor: Peter Wilf

Kayla Warner, Barnard College, Columbia University, Advisor: Hillary Callahan

Adam Wilson, Creighton University, Advisor: Mackenzie Taylor

Talia Zeidner, Connecticut College, Advisor: 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


The BSA Student and PostDoc Travel Awards
Winners were selected by lottery

Juan Angulo

Antigone Burke

Robert Comito

Skyler Fox

Diana Gamba

Elyssa Garza

Michelle Gaynor

Vinciane Mossion

Jess Shamik

Caroline Siegert

Meredith Zettlemoyer


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


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.

Kelly Pfeiler, University of Kansas, Advisors: Kelly Matsunaga & Brian Atkinson, For the Presentation: Anatomically preserved cheirolepidiaceous pollen cones from the Cretaceous of western North America. Co-authors: Brian Atkinson, Kelly Matsunaga

Keana Tang, University of Kansas, Advisor: Brian Atkinson, For the Presentation: Crown group Lauraceae in the Late Cretaceous: new evidence from fossil flowers. Co-authors: Kelly Matsunaga, Brian Atkinson

Elizabeth Wilson, William Jewell College, Advisor: Nathan Jud, For the Presentation: Revising the description and diagnosis of the Late Pennsylvanian medullosan Neuropteris lindahli White based on new fossil material. Co-author: Nathan Jud

Brandi Zenchyzen, University of Alberta, Advisor: Jocelyn Hall, For the Presentation: Exploring nectary diversity in Cleomaceae. Co-authors: Jaymie Martin, Stacie Weissner, Ainsley Lopushinsky, Ida John, Ishnoor Nahal, Jocelyn Hall


Awards for Students - Given by the Sections

Student Presentation and Poster Awards

A. J. Sharp Award (ABLS/Bryological and Lichenological Section)

This award is given for the best student paper presented in the Bryological and Lichenological sessions.

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


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


Li-COR Prize (Physiological Section)

Each year, the Physiological Section presents the Li-COR prize to acknowledge the best presentation made by any student, regardless of subdiscipline, at the annual meeting. The Li-COR prize is presented annually at the BSA Banquet.

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


Physiological Section Student Presentation and Poster Awards

To be announced


Phytochemical Section Presentation Awards

To be announced


Southeastern Section Student Presentation Awards
The following winners were selected from the Association of Southeastern Biologists meeting that took place at the end of March, 2022.

Southeastern Section Paper Presentation Award
Rachel Jessup, North Carolina State University

Southeastern Section Poster Presentation Award
Ryan Long, Jacksonville State University


Student Travel Awards

Bryological and Lichenological Section Student Travel Awards

Hansika Herath, University of Kentucky, Advisor: Nicholas McLetchie, For the Proposal: Testing for long-term acquired thermotolerance in the tropical plant Marchantia inflexa. Co-author: Nicholas McLetchie 

Evita Oļehnoviča, Daugavpils University, Advisor: Anna Mežaka, For the Proposal: Bryophyte functional traits in black alder swamp forests along forest age chronosequence in Latvia. Co-authors: Anna Pastare-Skutele, Anna Mežaka, Ligita Liepiņa

Meaghan Petix, Washington State University, Advisor: R. Dave Evans, For the Proposal: Assessing nitrogen deposition in mountainous regions using epiphytic lichen communities


Developmental & Structural Section Student Travel Awards

Cesar Galan, SIPS Plant Biology, Advisor: Alejandra Gandolfo, For the Presentation: Epidermal morphology of the subfamily Athrotaxoideae (Cupressaceae). Co-authors: Ana Andruchow Colombo, Maria Gandolfo

Vandana Gurung, University of Connecticut, Advisor: Pamela Diggle, For the Presentation: The curious case of CUC in corolla tube formation in Mimulus. Co-authors: Pamela Diggle, Yaowu Yuan

Sarita Munoz-Gomez, University of Connecticut, Advisor: Yaowu Yuan, For the Presentation: Creation of novel pigmentation patterns in monkeyflowers (Mimulus). Co-author: Yaowu Yuan

Deannah Neupert, Miami University, Advisor: Richard Moore, For the Presentation: The evolution of structural novelty: A morphological analysis of development in Mimulus and its implications for plant architecture and reproduction. Co-authors: Robert (Rob) Baker, Rich Moore, Jonathan Bauer 


Ecological Section Student Travel Awards

Haley Branch, University of British Columbia, Advisor: Amy Angert, For the Presentation: Transgenerational plasticity and maternal effects alter drought responses in scarlet monkeyflower. Co-authors: Dylan Moxley, Amy Angert

Veronica Gibson, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Advisor: Celia Smith, For the Presentation: Integrated physiological response by four red algae species and analysis of benthic community structure across an environmental gradient of tidally-driven submarine groundwater discharge conditions. Co-author: Celia Smith

Jill Wilson, University of Georgia, Advisor: Megan DeMarche, For the Presentation: Herbarium specimens underestimate phenological shifts in wild populations. Co-authors: Megan DeMarche, Meredith Zettlemoyer


Economic Botany Section Student Travel Awards

Kristen Nolting, University of Georgia, For the Presentation: Do crops have reduced stress tolerance compared with their wild progenitors? Evidence from a comprehensive meta-analysis. Co-Authors: Emily Dittmar, Lisa Donovan, John Burke

Maya Shamsid-Deen (Allen), University Of New Mexico, For the Presentation: A Germination of Freedom: How Blackdom, New Mexico Grew Its Roots through Dry-Farming Crops of the African Diaspora. Co-Authors: Gary Ivan Stafford, and Nokwanda Makunga


Genetics Section Student Travel Awards

Gracy Buckholtz, University of British Columbia, Advisor: Jeannette Whitton, For the Presentation: Tracking a Cryptic Invader: The Morphology and Genetics of Fraser River Estuary Cattails.

Montana Knight, North Carolina State University, Advisor: Colleen Doherty, For the Presentation: Assessing the Nucleotide-Level Impact of Spaceflight Stress using RNA-Sequencing Data. Co-authors: Colleen Doherty, Dahlia Nielsen

Talieh Ostovar, San Diego State University, Advisor: Amy Litt, For the Presentation: Impacts of allopolyploidy on gene expression in Nicotiana section Repandae. Co-authors:  Jacob Landis, Elizabeth McCarthy, Jason Stajich, Elizabeth Waters, Amy Litt

Connor Purvis, Francis Marion University, Advisor: Jeremy Rentsch, For the Presentation: Regulation of the Dhurrin Biosynthetic Pathway in Sorghum halepense seedlings. Co-authors: Jeremy Rentsch, Elizabeth Jones

Alyson Van Natto, Queen's University, Advisor: Jannice Friedman, For the Presentation: Mating system and hybridization combine to effect range-wide genetic structure in a coastal endemic plant. Co-author: Chris Eckert


Physiological Section Student Travel Awards

Veronica L. Gibson, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Advisor: Celia Smith, For the Proposal: Integrated physiological response by four red algae species and analysis of benthic community structure across an environmental gradient of tidally-driven submarine groundwater discharge conditions. Co-author: Celia Smith

Thomas Hennessey, Western Carolina University, Advisor: Beverly Collins, For the Proposal: Restoring the Roan: Red Spruce Forest Understory Response to Canopy Gaps at Roan Mountain, NC.

Marissa Ochoa, University of California, Los Angeles, Advisor: Lawren Sack, For the Proposal: How does stomatal anatomy influence leaf conductance from minimum to maximum? Causal relationships and meta-analysis. Co-authors: Lawren Sack, Thomas N. Buckley, Christian Henry, Camila Medeiros, Ruihua Pan, Grace Patricia John


Phytochemical Section Student Travel Awards

Tomi Lois Adetunji, North-West University, South Africa, Advisor: Frances Siebert, For the Proposal: Sceletium tortuosum: A review on its phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, biological, pre-clinical and clinical activities. Co-authors: Frances Siebert, Ademola Adetunji, Brian Harvey, J. Gericke, JH Hamman, Frank Van der Kooy

David Henderson, Washington University in St. Louis, Advisor: Jonathan Myers, For the Proposal: Testing the Role that Biotic Interactions Play in Shaping Elevational-Diversity Gradients: An Ecological Metabolomics Approach. Co-authors: Sebastian J. Tello, Brian Sedio, Jonathan Myers

Gordon Younkin, Cornell University, Advisor: Georg Jander, For the Proposal: Comparative transcriptomics of 48 Erysimum species guides discovery of cardiac glycoside biosynthetic genes. Co-authors: Martin Alani, Mahdieh Mirzaei, Georg Jander


Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI) Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced

Sarah Allen, Penn State Altoona

Jennifer Blake-Mahmud, Hope College

Cecilia Ezeanya, University of Ibadan

Elizabeth McCarthy, SUNY Cortland

Gregory Pec, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Qiang Sun, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Susana Wadgymar, Davidson College

Yingying XiePurdue University


Pteridological Section & American Fern Society Student Travel Awards

Lacey Benson, San José State University, Advisor: Susan Lambrecht, For the Presentation: A morphometric analysis of western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) pinnae and pinnae scales across the coast redwood forest ecological gradient. Co-Author: Susan Lambrecht

Bertrand Black, University of Vermont, Advisor: Michael Sundue, For the Presentation: A phylogenetic revision of the Athyrium filix-femina clade (Athyriaceae) in the Americas. Co-Author: Michael Sundue

Alexandria Quinlan, National Taiwan University, Advisor: Li-Yaung Kuo, For the Presentation: Ferns on ferns: an exploration of low-trunk epiphytic fern gametophytes growing on tree ferns in Taiwan. Co-Authors: Li-Yaung Kuo, Jer-Ming Hu

Jacob Suissa, Harvard University, Advisor: William E. Friedman, For the Presentation: The hydraulic implications of rhizomatous growth and the homorhizic habit. Co-Authors: William Friedman, Andrews Agbleke 

Zane Walker, Oregon State University, Advisor: Gar Rothwell, For the Presentation: A permineralized osmundaceous fern sporeling from the Lower Cretaceous of western Canada. Co-Authors: Gar Rothwell, Ruth Stockey