Botanical Society of America Awards Recipients 2023

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 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.

To be announced


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

To be announced


Impact Award 
The Botanical Society of America Impact Award recognizes a BSA member or group of members who have significantly contributed to advancing diversity, accessibility, equity, and/or inclusion in botanical scholarship, research and education.

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

Erika Edwards, Yale University


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


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

Rafael Acuña-Castillo, Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Tami C. Cacossi, UNICAMP, Brazil

Idowu Obisesan, Bowen University Iwo, Nigeria

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

Jayani Wathukarage, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Sri Lanka


The BSA Professional Member Travel Grants

Ana Andruchow-Colombo, University of Kansas

Nina Baghai-Riding, Delta State University

Israel L. Cunha Neto, Cornell University

Jessamine Finch, Native Plant Trust & Framingham State University

Julia Gerasimova, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt

Margaret Hanes, Eastern Michigan University

Adriana I. Hernandez, California Academy of Sciences

Pankaj Kumar Ph.D., FLS, Texas Tech University, Department of Plant and Soil Science

Francesco Martini, Trinity College Dublin

Elizabeth McCarthy, SUNY Cortland


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


Michael Cichan Paleobotanical Research Grant (Paleobotanical Section)

The Award is to provide funds for those who have completed a PhD and are currently in a post-doctoral position or non-tenure track position.

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.

To be announced


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.

Katherine T. Charton, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Lauren M. Orton, Sauk Valley Community College



Outgoing BSA President

Vivian Negron-Ortiz

Outgoing BSA Director-at-Large for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Chelsea Specht

Outgoing BSA Student Representative to the Board

Ioana Anghel


Awards for Students


Donald R. Kaplan Dissertation 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.

Haylee Nedblake, University of Kansas, For the Proposal: Evolution of bee-exclusionary corolla width differences in Penstemon


Graduate Student Dissertation Award in Phylogenetic Comparative Plant Biology
This award supports the Ph.D. research of graduate students in the area of comparative plant biology, broadly speaking, from genome to whole organism. To learn more about this award click here.

Zachary Muscavitch, University of Connecticut, For the Proposal: The Evolutionary Dynamics of Fog Lichen Symbionts: Going Global


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


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.

Melanie Beaudin, Carleton University, For the Proposal: Genetic diversity and population structure of a disjunct Opuntia fragilis population

Max Gray, University of British Columbia, For the Proposal: Testing the pervasiveness of MITE-induced apomixis in Asteraceae

Kaitlin Henry, Bucknell University, For the Proposal: Chemical analysis of extrafloral nectar in western Australian Solanum tudununggae (Solanaceae) to explore possible ant-plant relationships

Jonathan Le, University of California, Irvine, For the Proposal: Mapping nutrient localization throughout Drosera capensis digestion using MALDI-MSI

Samuel Monger, Auburn University in Montgomery, For the Proposal: Identification of kudzu-associated soil microbes - a first step towards developing more successful restoration techniques

Zach Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison, For the Proposal: Morphological and physiological adaptation in an ancient plant lineage


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 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.

Fae Bramblepelt, The University of Alabama, Advisor: Michael McKain

Gurleen Chana, University of Guelph, Advisor: Christina Caruso

Sam Fuss, Connecticut College, Advisor: Rachel Spicer

Erin Grady, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Advisor: Natalie Love

Wolfgang Graff, Miami University, Advisor: Richard Moore

William Gregor, Miami University, Advisor: Richard Moore

Hanna Hickey, University of Guelph, Advisor: Christina Caruso

Ellie Hollo, Connecticut College, Advisor: Rachel Spicer

Megan Keyser, Miami University, Advisor: Richard Moore

Henry Lagasse, Trinity College, Advisor: Nikisha Patel

Claire Marino, Bucknell University, Advisor: Chris Martine and Tanisha Williams

Taylor Michael, Pittsburg State University, Advisor: Neil Snow

Aadia Moseley-McCloud, Howard University, Advisor: Janelle Burke

Celina Patiño, Weber State University, Advisor: James Cohen

Sam Pelletier, Connecticut College, Advisor: Rachel Spicer

Dominique Pham, University of Richmond, Advisor: Carrie Wu

Sierra Sattler, South Dakota State University, Advisor: Maribeth Latvis

Rachel Savage, South Dakota State University, Advisor: Maribeth Latvis

Madeline Wickers, Bucknell University, Advisor: Chris Martine and Tanisha Williams

Matthew Yamamoto, Connecticut College, Advisor: Rachel Spicer

Noah Yawn, Auburn University, Advisor: Robert Boyd

Diamanda Zizis, Bucknell University, Advisor: Chris Martine and Tanisha Williams


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

Sevyn Brothers

Claudenice Dalastra

Melissa A. Lehrer

Isabela Lima Borges

Carlos Maya-Lastra

Mason McNair

Erika R. Moore-Pollard

Megan Nibbelink

Zach Smith

Tengxiang Wang


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.

Arthur Leung, University of Toronto, Advisor: Rowan Sage, For the Presentation: Ultrastructural modifications facilitated the initial steps in the evolution of C4 photosynthesis in Tribulus (Zygophyllaceae)

Oluwatobi Adekunle Oso, Yale University, Advisor: Professor Erika Edwards, For the Presentation: Origin and Distribution of Leaf Teeth in Temperate Woody Angiosperm Flora.


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


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


Developmental & Structural Poster Award

Best Student Poster

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


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.

Best Student Oral Presentations

To be announced

Best Student Poster

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


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

Best Student Oral Presentation

To be announced

Best Student Poster

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, 2023.

Southeastern Section Paper Presentation Award
Ben Brewer, Appalachian State University

Southeastern Section Poster Presentation Award
Elizabeth Companion, University of North Carolina Asheville


Phytochemical Section Presentation Awards

Best Presentation: 

To be announced

Best Presentation Honorable Mention: 

To be announced

Best Poster:

To be announced

Best Poster Honorable Mention:

To be announced


Student Travel Awards


Developmental & Structural Section Student Travel Awards

Yesenia Madrigal B., Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia), Advisor: Natalia Pabón-Mora, For the Presentation: Assessment of the flowering genetic regulatory network in tropical orchids with different lifeforms.

Deannah Neupert, Miami University, Advisor: Richard Moore, For the Presentation: The alteration to vegetative growth and gene expression supports the use of a novel aerial bulbil in Mimulus gemmiparus for reproduction.

Bryological and Lichenological Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced


Ecological Section Student Travel Awards

Annie E. Meeder, California Polytechnic University, Advisor: Dr. Jenn Yost, For the Presentation: Post-eradication transitions and dynamics of Santa Cruz Island vegetation communities.

Charlotte Miranda, San Jose State University, Advisor: Benjamin Carter, For the Presentation: Soil Generalist Erysimum capitatum Shows Differential Adaptation to Serpentine Soil of Origin Across a California Latitudinal Gradient

Shan Wong, Texas Tech University, Advisor: Jyotsna Sharma, For the Presentation: Disjunct populations of a hemi-epiphytic orchid (Vanilla trigonocarpa) show segregation of mycorrhizal niches.


Economic Botany Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced


Physiological Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced


Genetics Section Student Travel Awards

Samantha Drewry, University of Memphis, Advisor: Jennifer Mandel, For the Presentation: Conservation genetics in the endangered whorled sunflower Helianthus verticillatus (Asteraceae).

Elizabeth Uzezi Okinedo, University of Massachusetts Boston, Advisor: Brook Moyers, For the Presentation: Pleiotropy and adaptation in the silverleaf sunflower, Helianthus argophyllus.


Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI) Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced


Phytochemical Section Student Travel Awards

To be announced


Pteridological Section & American Fern Society Student Travel Awards

Lacey E. Benson, San Jose State University, Advisor: Dr. 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.

You-Wun Hwang, National Tsing Hua University, Advisor: Li-Yaung Kuo, For the Presentation: Frond dimorphism in Tectaria ferns: trends of their foliar characteristics and spore investment.