Congratulations to Lauren Gonzalez who was recently awarded a Graduate Student Research Award from the Society of Systematic Biologists for her proposal titled “Elucidating the Evolutionary History of Tropaeolum (Tropaeolaceae): Implications for Historical Biogeography, Trait Evolution, and Conservation”
Tropaeolum (Tropaeolaceae) comprises ~ 90 species native to Central and South America that are distributed throughout the Andes, within a variety of different habitat types, including several biodiversity hotspots. They also show great variation in floral morphology (e.g. color, shape, size) and some species have been important cultivars around the world. Because of its distribution and diversity, this genus represents an ideal system to study how geological and environmental processes have affected plant evolution in South America. The goals of this study are to resolve the phylogeny of Tropaeolum using a next-generation sequencing approach and subsequently explore biogeography, trait evolution, and conservation status.
Congratulations to Jacob Landis who won the FLMNH Student Research Exhibit Best Poster award or 2014-2015! Jacob’s poster reported on the development of outreach activities working with high school students to conduct plant systematics and forensics research experiences.
Graduate student Heather-Rose Kates’ research, funded by a USDA grant she received, has been featured in an article and video produced by Voice of America:
My apologies to all of these great lab members who won awards that have not been posted on the web site! Here’s the ones I dug out going back through my inbox…there may be more, so let me know. It’s great to have so many students being recognized for their great work!
We had several successful NSF DDIG proposals, congratulations to:
Clayton Visger for the project titled “The evolutionary significance of autopolyploidy in Tolmiea (Saxifragaceae)”!
This research will investigate the evolutionary consequences of whole-genome duplication in the flowering plant genus Tolmiea. Duplication occurs when an offspring ends up with two copies of all of the chromosomes of its parents. Genome duplications have occurred frequently within the flowering plants (300,000+ species), and likely contributed to their success. Most agricultural crops are the result of one or more recent duplication events, including wheat, cotton, corn, potato, and sugarcane. Thus, the research will be of broad importance in agriculture as well as the study of biodiversity.
Tolmiea (Saxifragaceae) contains one polyploid, T. menziesii that arose directly from the single diploid in the genus, T. diplomenziesii. Ongoing work found divergence both in abiotic niche preference and physiological water stress responses between diploid and autotetraploid Tolmiea. In concert with other ecophysiological investigations, this research will characterize the role autopolyploidy has played in the divergence of gene expression patterns using a common garden experiment consisting of multiple populations and multiple water-stress treatments. This study will: 1) provide insights into genome-wide patterns of gene expression in a natural autopolyploid compared to its diploid parent, 2) evaluate the variation and responsiveness of gene expression levels to the presence and absence of water-stress, and 3) use synthetic polyploid lines to determine whether these changes are the immediate effect of polyploidy or the result of subsequent evolution. This study will increase our understanding of gene expression changes resulting from autopolyploidy, and will provide valuable information for future breeding management and improvement of autopolyploid crops.
Richie Hodel for the project titled “Comparative phylogeography of three co-distributed Neotropical mangrove species”!
Andy Crowl in Nico’s lab for the project titled “Integrating Biogeography, Cytology, Niche Modeling and Phylogenetics to Understand the Evolutionary History of Endemic Campanula Species in the Mediterranean”!
Various UF Biology Awards:
Service Award: Richie Hodel
Davis Graduate Fellowship in Botany: Rebecca Stubbs
Michael L. May Interdisciplinary Grant: Jacob Landis
Lewis & Varina Vaughn Fellowship in Orchid Biology: Richie Hodel
From way back in October:
Congratulations to Jacob Landis on being named a recipient of the 2014 I-Cubed Graduate Student Mentoring Award! Jacob does fantastic work mentoring undergrads in research, and he has been very active in developing and implementing modules for high school students and teachers in collaboration with the Center for Precollegiate Education and Training.
Way to go, Jacob!
The polyploidy revolution then…and now: Stebbins revisited., by Soltis, Visger, and Soltis — American Journal of Botany, 2014 (DOI: 10.3410/f.722765935.793500872), has been recommended in F1000Prime as being of special significance in its field by F1000.
Congratulations to Nicolas Garcia on being named an Outstanding International Student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for 2014! Way to go, Nicolas!
Previous recipients of this prestigious award include lab members Claudia Segovia-Salcedo and Monica Arakaki.
Clayton Visger won the award for the best presentation in the Ecological Section at the annual meetings of the Botanical Society of America, Boise, ID 2014
Congratulations to yet another group of great volunteers in the lab who have logged many hours helping grad students with their research:
- Casandra Perez (200 hours!)
- Kylie Beauchamp (100 hours!)
- Kayla Ventura (100 hours!)
Thanks to these and all of our volunteers!
Three of our volunteers received recognition certificates for volunteering 100 hours! Congratulations Casandra Perez, Valeria Segui, and Milda Stanislaukas.
Every year we have many undergraduate students working in the lab, this is a great way to get research experience. Students work alongside graduate students or post-docs and some develop their own projects.
Congratulations to Andy Crowl, Clayton Visger and Blaine Marchant who all received 2014 Botanical Society of America Graduate Student Research Awards!
Undergrad researcher Kayla Ventura received the BSA Undergraduate Research Award!
Congratulations to all!