Donald R. Kaplan Memorial Lecture
2022 - Lena Hileman, University of Kansas, "Patterns and processes of floral diversification in the wildflower genus Penstemon."
Donald R. Kaplan was one of the preeminent comparative developmental biologists of his generation. Exemplary in his analytical approach, Don sought fundamental structural and developmental commonalities that in his words transcended taxonomic boundaries. Don was a lifelong member of the Botanical Society of America. His research and teaching accomplishments spanned the algae, bryophytes, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms and were recognized by his peers across the world and within BSA. Don earned every major award given by the BSA: the Charles Edwin Bessey Award for botanical teaching (2005), the Jeanette Siron Pelton Award (1989), the Centennial Award (2006) and the Merit Award (1984). Don had many Ph.D. students over the years that have gone on to productive careers as researchers and educators and trained their own students.
At the Annual meetings of 2008 the Botanical Society of America, the Donald R. Kaplan Memorial Lecture in Comparative Development was established to commemorate Don's contributions to botanical knowledge and promote his research interests within the Botanical Society of America. Interest and principle of the fund to support this lecture will be used to invite a leading scholar to present a talk at the annual meetings of the Society. The selected speaker is provided with an honorarium and reimbursement for travel expeneses to attend the meeting, with the total amount determined by the Kaplan Memorial Lecture Committee.
Name of the Lecture - Donald R. Kaplan Memorial Lecture in Comparative Development
Ideal Speaker and Criteria for Selection
The Kaplan Lecture speaker should be able to give a synthetic talk in the area of comparative development or morphology that reviews a topic for a general botanical audience while providing novel insights based on new or newly analyzed data. The following criteria will be used to rank and select from the nominees:
Nominees will also be evaluated on the basis of demographic diversity. Nominations from outside the U.S. are encouraged.
Mechanism for selecting the Speaker
More information on how to submit a nomination will be updated here when the award is opened in late 2020.
History of This Award and Committee Responsibilities
To accomplish the goals of this Lecture and to start the fundraising effort, the Kaplan Lecture Fund Committee was appointed by the BSA. The original Committee consisted of volunteers from the Developmental and Structural Sections membership who responded to a section-wide e-mail request for volunteers sent by Cindi Jones, then Chair of the Developmental and Structural Section.
The Kaplan Lecture Committee (1) started the process of fundraising and (2) contributed to the scheduling of the first Lecture in the series given by Nancy Dengler in 2010, in Providence, RI, and (3) has provided the following description and framework for the award and its selection.
Kaplan Lecture Committee Composition
The Kaplan Lecture Committee will consist of three members from the Society at large, one of whom will be the Chair of the Committee. The members will have three year terms with the opportunity to stand for reappointment to subsequent terms. Nominations for replacement members will come from the Committee on Committees. The three members will have staggered three year terms, such that one member is appointed each year.
JUSTIFICATION: The work of the Kaplan Lecture Committee will be to accumulate enough principle (or corpus) to eventually allow interest to sustain the cost of inviting outstanding speakers. For the first two years the two sources of fundraising have been (1) donations from the Society membership, and (2) proceeds from fundraising events at the annual meeting. We think that a three member committee is the optimum size for the workload and to provide the necessary continuity. Additional individuals may be called upon to supplement and support the work of the primary members.
Kaplan Lecture Committee Responsibilities
The Kaplan Lecture Committee will have the following responsibilities:
How the speakers will be supported prior to the fund reaching the targeted amount
Prior to the funding reaching a level at which it generates sufficient interest income to support an honorarium and full travel and registration expenses, speakers will be offered an honorarium only. The level of this honorarium will be set by the Kaplan Lecture Committee. Use of the Kaplan Lecture Funds Principle and interest of this fund will be used exclusively to support speakers for this lecture series. Checks written from the fund will be authorized by the Chair of the Kaplan Committee.
Responsibilities of the Society
The major duties of the BSA are: