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!