Student Research Awards


Deadline: 1 Feb annually
Download: Application 2021
Total Awarded Annually: Up to 3 awards, $1250
Number of Awards: Two ($500)  and 1 ($250: undergraduates only) awards will be presented annually.
Scope: Research that contributes to or uses herbarium resources in ways that augment the collections.

Research on any taxa typically accessioned in herbaria including all plant, fungal, lichen, and algal lineages is eligible. Supported activities could include, but are not limited to, fieldwork to generate vouchers for revisionary or floristic work, collecting morphological data from specimens, traveling to herbaria, or making and distributing physical specimens. Thus, students’ overarching research could include molecular approaches, but the merit of the proposal would be based on the ability of the work to contribute to building or improving herbarium resources. Additionally, meta-analysis of herbarium data would also be eligible, provided that a component of the research includes direct study of specimens.

Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate student SHC members may apply. It is expected that only student research projects with the clear potential to lead to publication will be competitive. Both the student and the student’s research advisor, who should provide a letter of recommendation, must be members of SHC at the time of application.

To become a member or to renew a membership, please visit our Online Membership or mail a Membership Application to our Treasurer (address provided on form).

Application Materials:
1) a one-page application form (see file attachment above) listing student’s name, address, and SHC advisor’s name and proposal title;
2) a two-page project description, itemized budget justification (no indirect costs allowed), publication/dissemination plan and references cited (1 inch margins, US letter size paper (11.5 x 11 inches), 11-12 point font, proposals may be single spaced but only 2 pages long);
3) one letter of recommendation from the student’s Research Advisor, who also must be a SHC member at the time of application.

All materials should be sent electronically to the SHC Secretary at PDF format is preferred. The letter of recommendation may be sent separately from the student’s materials.

The deadline is Feb 1 annually.

The SHC grant committee is pleased to announce the awardees of the recent Student Research Awards. We received a record 29 proposals for our student awards this year. Each Undergraduate recipients receive a $250 award, and graduate students receives a $500 award to support research. Our recipient by year are:

Past Award Recipients

Nick Koenig, Eastern Kentucky University.

Vascular Flora Survey of the Miller Welch-Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area, Madison County, Kentucky
Research Advisor: Melanie Link-Perez

Breann Whitley (M.S.), Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Route towards a taxonomic revision: Evaluating species of Neotropical Trema through phylogenetics, morphometrics, and biogeography
Research Advisor: Kurt Neubig

Michelle Gaynor (Ph.D.), University of Florida.
Building an herbarium collection of ploidal levels in the classic autopolyploid system, Galax urceolata
Research Advisor: Pamela Soltis

Andrea Appleton, Georgia Southern University
“Species Documentation, Floral Evolution, and Evolutionary Relationships of Paronychia Mill. (Caryophyllaceae)”
Research Advisor: John Schenk

Carolyn Mills (M.S.), Claremont Graduate University
“A Vascular Flora of the Nopah Range, Inyo County, California”
Research Advisor: Naomi Fraga

Johanna Jantzen (Ph.D.), University of Florida
“Diversification and niche evolution in Neotropical Tibouchina s.s. (Melastomataceae)”
Research Advisor: Pamela Soltis

Calvin Andries, Eastern Kentucky University
Vascular Flora and Wetland Assessment of Wetlands in the Red River Gorge Geological Area and Clifty Wilderness in Menifee and Powell Counties of Kentucky.
Advisor: Brad Ruhfel

Daniel Koenemann, Howard University
A Floristic Survey of Wheaton Regional Park, Montgomery County, Maryland.
Advisor: Janelle Burke

Katherine Culatta, North Carolina State University 
Taxonomy, Population Genetics, and Status Assessment of Nuphar sagittifolia (Nymphaeaceae).
Advisor: Alexander Krings

Conor Heffer, University of Vermont

Morphometric Analysis of Northwest North American Polystichum species in Evaluating a Newly Encountered Herbarium Specimen of P. kwakiutlii” Research Advisor: David Barrington

Nikolai Starzak, Oklahoma State University
The Flora of Beaver County: High Plains Vascular Plants of the Oklahoma Panhandle” Research Advisor: Mark Fishbein

Thomas McFadden, Eastern Kentucky University
The Vascular Flora of the Red River Gorge, Kentucky” Research Advisor: Brad Ruhfel


Jennifer Ackerfield, Colorado State University
Phylogeny and evolution of the genus Cirsium in North America
Funds will be used for travel expenses for field collections of this overly common but understudied and difficult to determine genus.
Research Advisor: Mark Simmons

Amanda Malone, University of Colorado at Boulder
Liverwort inventory & checklist of the Greater Comanche Grasslands: A region of neoendemism?”  Funds will be used for travel expenses for field collection of liverworts from this is remote area. Research Advisor: Erin Tripp 

Alexandria Szakacs, North Carolina State University
A guide to the phytolith assemblages produced by the vascular flora of Picture Creek Diabase Barrens (Granville Co., NC): A precursor for understanding vegetation history of a remnant piedmont prairie community“. Research Advisor: Alexander Krings


Benjamin Cooper, Northwestern University/Chicago Botanic Garden, Master’s Degree student, whose research project is entitled, “Molecular Phylogeny of Oenothera sect. Calylophus (Onagraceae)“. Funds will be used for travel expenses to visit field sites across the Southwest to collect morphological data, generate vouchers, and collect samples for DNA extraction. Research advisor: Krissa Skogen.


Samuel Wershow, Western Washington University, Master’s Degree student, whose research project is entitled, “Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on Endemic Wildflowers in the Pacific Northwest”. His research advisor is Eric DeChaine. Funds will be used for travel expenses to allow expansion of the scope of field sampling and collection of vouchers in remote areas.



Nathan Howell, Master’s candidate, North Carolina State University. “The Vascular Flora of the Natural Lake Shoreline Community of Carolina Bays in the Carolina Flatwoods Ecoregion (Bladen and Columbus Counties, North Carolina).”
Advisor: Dr. Alexander Krings

Marika Laurel Majack, Master’s candidate, University of Colorado, Denver. “The Distribution of Pondweeds (Potamogetonaceae) in Colorado.
Advisor: Dr. Leo Bruederle

Matthew Pace (University of Wisconsin – Madison). “Utilizing herbarium and field research to clarify species diversity of Spiranthes (Orchidaceae).”
Advisor: Dr. Kenneth Cameron

Angela Rein (Oklahoma State University). “Enigmatic non-twining vines: Evolution and systematics of Matelea subgenus Chthamalia (Gonolobinae, Apocynaceae).”
Advisor: Dr. Mark Fishbein