Heather-Rose Kates’ research featured by VOA

March 11th, 2015

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:

Here’s the article.

Catching up on Awards

March 4th, 2015

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!


Recent polyploidy paper recommended by Faculty of 1000

October 27th, 2014

Access the recommendation on F1000PrimeThe 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.

Nicolas Wins Top International Student Award!

October 9th, 2014

Nicolas GarciaCongratulations 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 wins best student talk award at BSA meetings, 2014

October 9th, 2014

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


Congrats Clayton!!!

More great volunteers recognized!

August 20th, 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!

Volunteers recognized

July 11th, 2014

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.

BSA Awards Abound!

May 1st, 2014

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!

Undergrad Awards!

March 27th, 2014

Congratulations to the many undergraduates in the lab who were awarded research scholarships:hhmi

  • Kayla, Cole, Veronica and Jordan were all named University Scholars
  • Kayla was also selected as an HHMI Science For Life scholar

Way to go, that’s a great achievement for so many of our students to get these awards!

Doug Soltis wins 2014 Outstanding Postdoc Mentoring Award

March 27th, 2014

Doug Soltis Congratulations to Doug, who was recently awarded the 2014 Outstanding Postdoc Mentoring Award! The postdoc mentoring awards are established to encourage and reward excellence, innovation, and effectiveness in the mentoring of UF postdocs. Each year, up to three faculty members will receive awards of $2000 each. Faculty awardees will serve on a Postdoc Mentoring Committee two years to provide guidance and advice to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs regarding postdoc mentoring issues. Past Postdoc Mentoring Award winners will also serve as the review committee for the Postdoc Mentoring Awards.