American Society of Plant Taxonomists Award
By Karyn Houston
Plant & Microbial Biology
The American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) Grady L. Webster Award was recently given to Shayla Salzman, Heather E. Driscoll, Tanya Renner, Thiago André, Stacy Shen and Associate Professor Chelsea Specht for their 2015 paper entitled "Spiraling into History: A Molecular Phylogeny and Investigation of Biogeographic Origins and Floral Evolution for the Genus Costus."
This specific award is the 2016 Grady L. Webster Plant Systematics Publication Award, honoring the best Systematic Botany paper of the year. The paper was was published in Systematic Botany, 40(1):104-115.
The committee evaluated publications in Systematic Botany and Systematic Botany Monographs from 2014 and 2015. The competition was strong. The committee found the paper to be an excellent example of the use of a comprehensive and robust phylogeny to address interesting and important evolutionary and historical questions.
The award comes with a $1,000 prize; presentation will be made at the ASPT banquet at Botany 2016 in Savannah, Georgia.
Salzman, lead author on the paper, was a former undergrad in the College of Natural Resources and received an Honor's Degree in Genetics and Plant Biology. While an undergrad at Berkeley, she participated in the Sponsored Projects for Undergraduate Research program. The program provides students in CNR the opportunity to work wotj faculty on research projects. Research enhances student scholarship and provides participants with invaluable skills and experience.
The college offers a range of opportunites suited for the novice and advanced undergraduate researcher, including financial support generously provided by CNR alumni and friends to assist with research costs and travel.