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Botany 2023 - Boise, IdahoBotany 2023 - Boise, Idaho

Botany 2022 - Anchorage, Alaska

Botany 2021 - Virtual!

2020 PLANTS RecipientsBotany 2020 - Virtual!

2018 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2018 in Rochester, Minnesota

2017 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2017 in Fort Worth, Texas

  Botany and Beyond: PLANTS Grants
Preparing Leaders and Nurturing Tomorrow's Scientists

Undergraduate Travel Awards and Mentored Conference Experience

The Botany and Beyond: PLANTS III pathway program is funded by the National Science Foundation (DEB-2138730) and Botanical Society of America to bring talented and diverse undergraduates to BOTANY 2024 in Grand Rapids, Michigan from June 15-19, 2024, where we will provide mentored training opportunities. BSA leads this program, in conjunction with our partners at the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and the Society for Herbarium Curators, in support of a more diverse, inclusive and accessible culture in the botanical community.

Congratulations to the 2023 awardees!

The Botany and Beyond: PLANTS III pathway program
will provide an immersive mentored experience for a diverse cohort of undergraduate PLANTS Scholars attending the Botany conference. Botany conference is composed of scientific talks, workshops, field trips, a poster session and networking events. Conference presentations cover a variety of academic areas related to botany such as climate change, pollination biology and other plant-animal interactions, conservation, paleobotany, ethnobotany, systematics and biodiversity including field, greenhouse, and genomic techniques, pedagogical methods, etc. 

PLANTS scholars are paired with mentors who help you better understand the scientific talks, discuss your questions about the BOTANY meetings in general, grad school and funding, and different careers; and can introduce you to people you wish to meet. Each scholar is matched with a near-peer (graduate student) and an established (career professional) mentor.  With the understanding that people with different backgrounds offer different perspectives, PLANTS mentors are chosen because they are interested in you and your perspective, and they are often happy to discuss their own career paths, work-life balance and how they came to be interested in plants. Mentors may also help after the meetings with further questions about applying for funding, internships, fellowships, graduate school, etc.

Annually, we fund up to 20 undergraduates from throughout the US and Puerto Rico (applications from international students cannot be accepted due to limitations from our funding source) to attend the summer conference; receive mentoring from graduate students, postdocs and faculty; explore botanical research; network and engage with the broader botanical community from several scientific societies; and explore pathways and opportunities to pursue botanical careers. The program offers programming and student-centered experiences across the conference and includes full funding to support meeting registration, travel, meals throughout the conference, a per diem on travel days and lodging for the conference. Participants must be available and commit to attend the entire meeting, participate in PLANTS programing, including at least 3 scientific talks per day with a mentor, as well as professional development and networking activities like field trips, PLANTS scholar and alumni gatherings, the Belonging in Botany special lecture, a Careers in Botany lunch event, etc.  You and your mentors will pick a few talks to attend together each day, followed by discussions together about these talks. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to nearby natural areas. The Botany meeting also provides a chance to attend social events centered around different affinity groups (e.g., LGBTQ+, AAPI, Indigenous, BIPOC groups, first time attendees, undergraduates, those from specific academic institutions, and gatherings of different scientific societies).

The conference is a great way to understand the breadth of botanical research and education, to meet undergraduate and graduate students with similar interests, learn about potential career paths, and to network with professionals in your area of interest. This is a very friendly community, so please consider joining us!  PLANTS Scholars will also join a network of over 100 PLANTS Alumni and will have sustaining opportunities to engage in mentoring through supportive virtual communication strategies, follow-up Webinars, and opportunities to return to the BOTANY meetings as mentors and alumni in subsequent years.

See this SAMPLE SCHEDULE as an example of PLANTS scholar activities during the conference. An overview of the scientific conference is available at:

Application includes 1) completion of the online form, 2) uploading your personal statement of interest, 3) a letter of recommendation, and 4) unofficial transcripts. Applications are welcome from all undergraduates from the US and Puerto Rico who have an interest in plant science.  Applications from international students cannot be accepted due to limitations from our funding source. The goal of this National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program is to foster diversity, increase accessibility, and create inclusive opportunities and experiences for communities historically excluded from botanical science.

Personal Statement of academic interests and career goals: (500 word limit) Please address EACH of the following questions in a personal statement which you will upload when filling out the application form:

A) Why are you interested in attending this Botany conference?  Please use examples  that have influenced your interests in plants and the botanical sciences.

B) What are your areas of interest within or related to plant sciences? 

C) How do you hope the PLANTS program and the BOTANY conference might help you—please be specific, for example are there particular people, types of people, or people in specific careers that you would like to meet, topics that you are specifically interested in learning more about, etc. We recognize that students earlier in their academic career may not be able to be as specific as more advanced students.

D) What are your plans after graduation and your current career goals?

E) Please describe any current or past formal or informal mentor/mentee relationships you have had and what you gained from being a mentor or a mentee.

F) What would you like to gain from interacting with your PLANTS mentors (a near-peer mentor and a more senior mentor) at the BOTANY meeting?

G) One of the goals of the PLANTS program is to engage, support and sustain a diverse community of undergraduate students in the botanical sciences. If selected, how would your participation in the program contribute to this goal? 

H) How would you actively engage and support others academically or socially at the meeting?

Letter of support:
Please confirm that your letter-writer is willing to write and submit a letter for your application by the March 1 deadline.  Your letter of support should come directly from a person who knows you well.

Directions for the letter-writer:
The PLANTS program seeks to build a cohort of scholars who are diverse in their backgrounds, academic achievements, botanical interests, and career goals.  Each student contributes something unique to the program (leadership, a diverse perspective, outside-the-classroom field or research experience, etc.) and each benefits from the program in their own way as well (some need more focused mentoring, while others may benefit from presenting their research at a conference for the first time, etc.)  Please write a letter that details 1) how you know the student, 2) what you believe they will contribute to the PLANTS program, 3) how you believe they will benefit from the PLANTS program and the Botany conference, and 4) their general readiness to attend and participate in an academic conference of this nature.

Letters of support should be emailed to Your letter of support should have the file name [LAST NAME STUDENT_YOUR LAST NAME_PLANTS2024], ie. HALES_SAKAI_PLANTS2024.  For questions please email

DEADLINE: March 1, 2024

The application is made through our online Awards Portal. You do not need to be a current BSA member to apply. However, if you do not have a BSA login, you will need to create one here. We encourage you to review the online form thoroughly before filling it out. You will need to upload your personal statement and unofficial transcripts. Our staff will upload your letter of support.

Access the Awards Portal by clicking here and logging in with your BotanyID/Password. Once signed in, click on the "2024 - PLANTS Grant" link and you should see a blue button that says "+ Create New Nomination" at the bottom if your login was successful.

MENTORS: In addition, we will be soliciting graduate students, postdocs and faculty members who would like to serve as mentors during the meeting. Mentors work with PLANTS students and attend talks with them, introduce them to colleagues, network and generally make the meetings a welcoming place for them. Mentors need to be prepared and do their homework, read the mentoring articles shared with them and attend a training webinar in the early summer prior to BOTANY conference. Costs of conference registration and lodging are covered for peer mentors. The cost of a field trip and two meals are provided for all mentors.  It is a very rewarding experience to mentor this group of students. A brief application form for mentors will open in February.

CONTACTS: For further inquiries, please contact:
Heather Cacanindin --


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (DEB-2138730). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

2023 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients

PLANTS 2023 - Boise, Idaho
Botany 2023 in Boise, Idaho

Nico Andrade
, University of Florida, Advisor: Dr. Pam and Doug Soltis

Sofia Baez, Old Dominion University, Advisor: Lisa Wallace

Cari DeCoursey, Weber State University, Advisor: Dr. James Cohen

Fitzwilliam Dettmer, Rutgers University New Brunswick, Advisor: Dr. Lena Struwe

Natalie Heaton, University of Florida, Advisor: Lucas Majure

Chinyang Huang, Purdue University, Advisor: Dr. Daniel Park

Anij Mackey, Texas Tech University, Advisor: Matthew G. Johnson

Marife Minaya, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Advisor: Carrie Kiel

Hashel Orquiz, University of Texas at El Paso, Advisor: Dr. Michael Moody

HeavenLee Pagan, Auburn University at Montgomery, Advisor: Dr. Vanessa Koelling

Dominique Pham, University of Richmond, Advisor: Dr. Carrie Wu

Ethan Richardson, University of Pittsburgh, Advisor: Tia-Lynn Ashman

Tajinder Singh, Mississippi State University, Advisor: Dr. Ryan Folk

Isabella Soto, Auburn University at Montgomery, Advisor: Dr. Vanessa A. Koelling

Trinity Tobin, SUNY Cortland, Advisor: Elizabeth McCarthy

2022 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2022 PLANTS Cohort
Botany 2022 in Anchorage, Alaska
Luigie Alequín, Haverford College, Advisor: Nathalie Nagalingum
Victoria Clements, Tennessee Technological University, Advisor: Shawn Krosnick
Adalie Duran, Connecticut College, Advisor: Rachel Spicer
Josh Felton, Colorado College, Advisor: Rachel Jabaily
Tori Ford, University of Florida, Advisor: Pam Soltis
Cesar Galan, Cornell University, Advisor: Alejandra Gandolfo
Mayra Hernandez, CSU Dominguez Hills, Advisor: Helen I. Holmlund
Amelie LeTierce, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Advisor: Jessamine Finch
Karina Mendez, Chabot College, Advisor: Mackenzie Mabry
Aadia Moseley-McCloud, Howard University, Advisor: Janelle Burke
Austin Nguyen, University of Kansas, Advisor: Kelly Matsunaga
Inti Quinchiguango Archuleta, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Advisor: Suzy Strickler

2021 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2021 PLANTS Cohort
Botany 2021 Virtual!
Anais Barnes, Bucknell University, Advisor: Chris Martine
Serena Blais, California State University, Sacramento, Advisor: Clayton Visger
Jonathan Carcache, Florida International University, Advisor: Daniela Hernandez
Josh Felton, Colorado College, Advisor: Rachel Jabaily
Aaliyah Holliday, Cornell University, Advisor: Chelsea D. Specht
Caitlyn Hughes, University of Georgia, Advisor: Jim Leebens-Mack
Emily Hughes, Rutgers University, Advisor: Suzanne Sukhdeo
Al Lichamer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Advisor: Ingrid Jordon-Thaden
Annie Nelson, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Advisor: Katarzyna Glowacka
Matthew Norman, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Advisor: Lauren Eserman
Deirdre O'Malley, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Advisor: Shannon Straub
Ryan Schmidt, Rutgers University, Advisor: Lena Struwe
Madilyn Vetter, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Advisor: Nora Mitchell
Jayla Wade, Howard University, Advisor: Janelle Burke
Audrey Widmier, Mercer University, Advisor: John Stanga

2020 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients

Botany 2020 - Virtual!

Christina Andreski, Plymouth State University, Advisor: Diana Jolles
Juan Angulo, University of Georgia, Advisor: James Leebens-Mack
Sarah Ashlock, University of California, Santa Cruz, Advisor: Kathleen Kay
Trinity Depatie, Florida Atlantic University, Advisor: James K. Wetterer
Kandiss Dowdell, Montana State University Billings, Advisor: Jason Comer
Miyauna Incarnato, The College of Wooster, Advisor: Jennifer Ison
Maia Jones, California Academy of Sciences, Advisor: Nathalie Nagalingum
Sofia Ocampo, Florida International University, Advisor: Suzanne Koptur
Michelle Pham, University of California, Los Angeles, Advisor: James Cohen
I. Jason Rose, Cornell University, Advisor: Chelsea D. Specht
Vida Svahnstrom, University of St Andrews, Advisor: Susan Healy

2019 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients

Tucson, Arizona
Austin Betancourt, San Jose State University, Advisor: Benjamin Carter
Charles BushOglala Lakota College, Advisor: Madhav Nepal
Talbrett Caramillo, Fort Lewis College, Advisor: Ross McCauley
Jovan Coleman, Mesa Community College, Advisor: Sean Whitcomb
C.J. Copper, College of the Redwoods, Advisor: Maria Friedman
Lisa Danback, Webster University, Advisor: Nicole Miller-Struttman
Marco Donoso, University of Central Oklahoma, Advisor: Chad King
Candy DuBrayOglala Lakota College, Advisor: Madhav Nepal
Ana Flores, Florida International University, Advisor: Jennifer Richards
Mari Irving, University of Central Florida, Advisor: Chase Mason
Chazz Jordan, Georgia State University, Advisor: Lauren Eserman
Matthew McCarthyCitris College, Advisor: Marianne Smith
Cristina Raya, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Advisor: Rupesh Kariyat
Marcus Reid, Phoenix College, Advisor: Matt Haberkom
Rachael Snodgrass, Gonzaga University, Advisor: Stephen Hayes
Tatyana Soto, Mills College, Advisor: Sarah Swope
Emily Swindell, Fort Lewis College, Advisor: Ross McCauley
Dannielle Waugh, University of Central Florida, Advisor: Chase Mason
Danielle Weaver, CSU-Fullerton, Advisor: Joshua Der

2018 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2018 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2018 in Rochester, Minnesota
Liliana Benitez, New College of Florida, Advisor: Dr. Emily Saarinen
John Christman III, Christopher Newport University, Advisor: Dr. Janet Steven
Inesha Ellis, Widener University, Advisor: Dr. Katherine Goodrich
David Flanery, South Dakota State University, Advisor: Dr. Maribeth Latvis
Andrew Gonzalez, California State University - Sacramento, Advisor: Dr. Thomas Peavy
Alexis Kantor, University of Colorado-Boulder, Advisor: Dr. Stacey Smith
Carina Motta, University of California-Santa Barbara, Advisor: Dr. Susan Mazar
Simone Oliphant, Florida International University, Advisor: Dr. Suzanne Koptur
Asa Peters, Connecticut College, Advisor: Dr. Chad Jones
Megan Rasmussen, SUNY-Farmingdale, Advisor: Dr. Eric Morgan
Keana Tang, California State University - Long Beach, Advisor: Dr. Amanda Fisher
Nicole Tineo, The College of New Jersey, Advisor: Dr. Wendy Clement
Matthew Treanor, Plymouth State University, Advisor: Dr. Diana Jolles
Delecia Utley, Howard University, Advisor: Dr. Janelle Burke

2017 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2017 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2017 in Fort Worth, Texas

Kefren Arjona, University of Florida, Advisor: Dr. Doug Soltis
Laymon Ball, Long Beach State University, Advisor: Dr. Amanda Fisher
Nana Britwum, Cornell University, Advisor: Dr. Rena Borkhataria
Michelle Gray, University of Maryland College Park, Advisor: Dr. Maile Neele
Monique Harvey, Howard University, Advisor: Dr. Janelle Burke
Rebecca Hayes, University of Pittsburgh, Advisor: Dr. Tia-Lynn Ashman
Lillian Hendrick, Central Michigan State University, Advisor: Dr. Anna Monfils
Glen Morrison, California State Polytechnic University, Advisor: Dr. Amy Litt
Jocelyn Navarro, Connecticut College, Advisor: Dr. Kristine Hardeman
ShaunAnn Peters, Central Michigan State University, Advisor: Dr. Anna Monfils
Kasey Pham, Michigan State University, Advisor: Dr. Alan Prather
Melissa Vergara, University of California-Santa Cruz, Advisor: Dr. Kathleen Kay
Sienna Wessel, Northern State University, Advisor: Dr. Jodie Ramsay

2016 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2016 in Savannah, Georgia
Timothy Batz, California State Polytechnic University, Advisor: Dr. Bharti Sharma
Janet Mansaray, Howard University, Advisor: Dr. Janelle Burke
Corey Milligan, Harris-Stowe State University, Advisor: Dr. Thomas Brown
Brooke Palmer, Colorado State University, Advisor: Dr. Stacey Smith
Vivianna Sanchez, Mount St. Mary's University, Advisor: Dr. Adriane Jones
Jaime Schwoch, Portland State University, Advisor: Dr. Mitch Cruzan
Evelyn Valdez-Rangel, University of Houston-Downtown, Advisor: Dr. Michael Tobin
Rebecca Valls, Florida International University, Advisor: Dr. Eric von Wettberg
Nathan Vega, California State University-Fullerton, Advisor: Dr. Joshua Der
Monica Warner, California State University - Dominguez Hills, Advisor: Dr. Kathryn Thiess
Shan Wong, Florida International University, Advisor: Dr. Hong Liu

2015 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2015 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2015 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Alicia Butko, Widener University, Advisor: Dr. Kate Goodrich
Emma Fryer, Humboldt State University, Advisors: Drs. Michael Mesler and Alexandru Tomescu
Patrick Gallagher, The College of New Jersey, Advisor: Dr. Wendy Clement
Jose Miguel Hernandez Ochoa, University of Wisconsin, Advisor: Dr. Juan Zalapa
Angelina Viviana Martinez, University of Florida, Advisors: Drs. Christine Davis and Pamela Soltis
Jesus Medina, California State University - Los Angeles, Advisor: Dr. Craig Barrett
Madeline Metten, University of Northern Colorado, Advisor: Dr. Mitchel McGlaughlin
Andre Naranjo, University of Miami, Advisor: Dr. Barbara Whitlock
Chelsea Pretz, Harris-Stowe State University, Advisors: Drs. John MacDougal and Allison Miller
Mercedes Santiago, Kansas State University, Advisor: Dr. Carolyn Ferguson
Maryan Sedaghatpour, George Mason University, Advisors: Drs. Jorid van der Ham and Andrea Weeks
Gary Sur, University of Hawaii - Hilo, Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Stacy
Imena Valdes, Florida International University, Advisor: Dr. Suzanne Koptur
Joshua Wiese, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Advisor: Dr. Bryan Drew

2014 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients

2014 in Boise, Idaho

Marilyn Creer, Alabama A&M University, Advisor: Dr. Tatiana Kukhtareva
Gemma Dugan, Bucknell University, Advisor: : Dr. Chris Martine
Shawna Faulkner, Humboldt University, Advisor: : Dr. Alexandru Tomescu
Michelle Garcia, University of Texas-El Paso, Advisor: Dr. Michael Moody
Aidee Guzman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Advisor: Dr. Eve Emshwiller
Timothy Hieger, University of Kansas, Advisor: Dr. Thomas N. Taylor
Shayla Hobbs, University of Illinois, Advisor: Dr. Tina M. Knox
Michelle Jackson, Smith College, Advisor: Dr. Jesse Bellemare
Claudia Christine Marin, University of Califormia Riverside, Advisor: Dr. Milton McGiffen
Sean Pena, Florida International University, Advisor: Dr. Suzanne Koptur
David Pozo Garces, Central Michigan State University, Advisor: Dr. Anna Monfils
Yisu Santamarina, Florida International University, Advisor: Dr. Bradley Bennett
Samuel Torpey, University of Idaho, Advisor: Dr. David Tank

2013 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2013 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana
Richard Shawn Abrahams, University of Florida, Advisor: Dr. Stuart McDaniel
Dayvis Blasini, Northern Illinois University, Advisor: Dr. Pamela Geddes
Laquita Bolden, Cleveland State University, Advisor: Dr. Modney
Bianca Bonilla, Florida International University, Advisor: Dr. Bradley Bennett
Joyce Chery, Cornell University, Advisor: Dr. Melissa Luckow
Jessel Gutierrez, Texas A&M International University, Advisor: University, Dr. Jim Cohen
Elizabeth McWilliams, Oregon State University, Advisor: Dr. Richard Halse
Livingstone Nganga, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Advisor: Bethany K. Zolman
Angelica Nunez, University of California-Riverside, Advisor: Dr. Louis Santiago
Crista O'Conner, University of Idaho, Advisor: Dr. David Tank
Anthony Parson, Humboldt State University, Advisor: Dr. Jacquelyn Bolman
Hevony Rodriguez, Texas A&M International University, Advisor: Dr. Jim Cohen
Angel Rogers, Howard University, Advisor: Dr. Hemayut Ullah
De Ana Smalls, Howard University, Advisor: Dr. Hemayut Ullah
David Sycle II, Central Michigan University, Advisor: Dr. Brad Swanson

2012 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2012 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2012 in Columbus, Ohio
Dominique Alvis, University of Maryland-Baltimore - Advisor, Dr. Mauricio Bustos
Haydee Borrero, Florida International University - Advisor, Dr. Suzanne Koptur
Maria Friedman, Humboldt State University - Advisor, Dr. Erik Jules
Erin Fujimoto, University of Hawaii at Manoa - Advisor, Dr. Tom Ranker
Victoria Hanna, University of California-Irvine - Advisor, Dr. Kailen Mooney
Sean Gershaneck, University of Hawai'i at Manoa - Advisor, Dr. Pattie Dunn
Lauren Gonzalez, University of New Orleans - Advisor, Dr. Charles Bell
Alexandria Igwe, Howard University - Advisor, Dr. Mary McKenna
Caprice Lee, University of California-Davis, Dr. Sharman O'Neill
Jamie Minnaert-Grote, George Mason University - Advisor, Dr. Andrea Weeks
Rylan Sprague, Black Hills State University - Advisor, Dr. Benjamin van Ee
Brittany Stallworth, Howard University - Advisor, Dr. Mary McKenna
Dori Thompson, Texas State University - San Marcos - Advisor, Dr. Garland Upchurch

2011 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2011 BSA PLANTS Grant Recipients
2011 in St. Louis, Missouri

Brian Atkinson, Ohio University, Advisor: Dr. Gar Rothwell
Betsabe Castro, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
James McDaniel, Lynchburg College, Advisor: Dr. Nancy Cowden
Irma Ortiz, UCLA, Advisor: Dr. Ann Hirsch
Amber Paasch, California State University, LA  
Barbara Putnam, Delta State University, Advisor: Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding
Jon Richey, Texas State University, San Marcos, Advisor: Dr. Gary Upchurch
Katherine Toll, University of Miami
Clayton Visger, California State University - Sacramento

  2010 BSA Grant Recipients
2010 Recipients
2010 in Providence, Rhode Island


Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology (UMEB)

Prior to the PLANTs Program, the BSA provided support to under-represented students via the Undergaduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology (UMEB) Program. Here are the recipients of this NSF funded program.

2009 BSA UMEB Grant Recipients
Cassandra L Coleman
2008 BSA UMEB Grant Recipients
Antionette Gray
Laura Super
Iman Sylvain
2007 BSA UMEB Grant Recipients
Stanita Jackson
Adel Pena
Chevon Marsh
Rita Richardson
2006 BSA UMEB Grant Recipients
Gustavo Armaiz
Kristen E Baird
Andrew J Blackwell
Stephanie Day
Lisa Hoang
Michelle Hulett
Harry Lopez Rosado
Elizabeth Ortiz Huerta
Jose Pena
2005 BSA UMEB Grant Recipients
Derrick Fowler
Angel Jurado
Chris Lane
Daniel Stanton
C. Pascale Williams
2004 BSA UMEB Grant Recipients
Vanessa Forbes
Patrick J Hudson
Dennis Hildalgo
Talline Robadey
Eillen J Rodriquez
Chamary Vergara
2003 BSA UMEB Grant Recipients
Veder Garcia
Renee Lopez-Smith
Dawn Morningstar
Karla Paiz
Karla Cortez