2012 ASPT Graduate Student Research Grant Recipients:
The ASPT Awards and Honors Committee received 68 highly competitive proposals. Each proposal was reviewed by panel of three impartial referees using a standardized rubric; referees were drawn from a pool of 20 ASPT member-volunteers. The Committee was careful to avoid any conflicts of interest in the review and award process. Scores from the external reviews were tallied and the eighteen (26%) top-ranked proposals were selected based on overall availability of funds. The four highest ranked proposals were awarded with support from the endowed research grant funds, the remaining 14 were awarded with support from the general research grant fund.
ASPT Endowed Graduate Student Research Grant ($1000), in alphabetical order.
Shirley and Alan Graham Graduate Student Research Grant
Michael Calonje, Florida International University. PhD project: Leaflet anatomical variation among plicate-leaflet species of Zamia (Cycadales, Zamiaceae). Advisor: Javier Ortega.
W. Hardy Eshbaugh Graduate Student Research Grant
Daniel J. Gates, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. PhD project: Phylogenetic assessment of hybridization across the subtribe Iochrominae (Solanaceae) using target enrichment and newly developed sequencing techniques. Advisor: Stacey D. Smith.
William R. Anderson Graduate Student Research Grant
Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. PhD project: Testing adaptive radiation in the dry tropics: a phylogenetic approach to biogeography, inflorescence evolution, and hydraulic traits in the genus Varronia (Cordiaceae, Boraginales). Advisor: Lucinda McDade.
Rogers McVaugh Graduate Student Research Grant
Lauren D. Spitz, Rutgers University. PhD project: Niche evolution in nutrient-poor habitats. Advisor: Lena Struwe.
ASPT General Graduate Student Research Grants ($850), in alphabetical order.
Julian Andres Aguirre Santoro, New York Botanical Garden. PhD project: Systematics and biogeography of the Ronnbergia clade (Bromeliaceae). Advisor: Fabián Michelangeli.
Guadalupe Borja, Oklahoma State University. MS project: Integrating phylogeny, morphology, and population genetics: investigating species relationships in Paysonia (Brassicaceae). Advisor: Andrew Doust.
Andrew A. Crowl, Florida Museum of Natural History. PhD project: Evolution and phylogeography of rare, endemic Campanula species (Campanulaceae) in the eastern Mediterranean. Advisor: Nico Cellinese.
Alina Freire-Fierro, Drexel University. PhD project: Origin and diversification of Monnina (Polygalaceae). Advisor: Dr. Walter F. Bien.
Morgan Gostel, George Mason University. PhD project: Understanding morphological innovation in two recent radiations of Malagasy Commiphora Jacq. (Burseraceae). Advisor: Andrea Weeks.
AJ Harris, Oklahoma State University. PhD project: Towards understanding the historical biogeography of Billia Peyr. (Hippocastanoideae, Sapindaceae): resolving taxonomic uncertainties. Advisor: Linda Watson.
Laura P. Lagomarsino, Harvard University. PhD project: Phylogeny and the evolution of vertebrate pollination syndromes in the Neotropical Lobelioideae. Advisor: Charles C. Davis.
Matthew P. Nelsen, Field Museum. PhD project: Diversification following a transition to mutualism. Advisor: Richard Ree.
Suman Neupane, Old Dominion University. PhD project: Hedyotis L. (Rubiaceae) in Asia: phylogeny, character evolution, and biogeography. Advisor: Timothy Motley.
Joel H. Nitta, Harvard University. PhD project: Exploring the ecology of a cryptic life stage in the ferns of Moorea, French Polynesia. Advisor: Charles C. Davis.
Jorge A. Pérez-Zabala, University of California, Davis. PhD project: The diversification of the evergreen species of Prunus in the New World: linking form, function and environment through evolutionary time. Advisor: Daniel Potter.
Marcelo Reginato, New York Botanical Garden. PhD project: Biogeography of Leandra sensu stricto (Melastomataceae, Miconieae): the amphitropical pattern. Advisor: Fabián Michelangeli.
Brian J. Sidoti, University of Wisconsin-Madison. PhD project: Molecular phylogenetics and population genetics of the Tillandsia fasciculata complex (Bromeliaceae): biogeographical and evolutionary implications. Advisor: Kenneth Cameron.
Erin M. Sigel, Duke University. PhD project: Further refining the circumscription of Polypodium vulgare L. Advisor: Dr. Kathleen Pryer.