Awards, Honors

As a community, we work together to honor undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral research and academic achievements and to obtain funding for developing novel research projects.  Here are some of the recent awards obtained by lab members... Congratulations!!!


  • Congratulations to graduates Kat Yu, Grady Pierroz, and Cameron Musser.  Go Bears! :-)

  • Congratulations to Stephen Yee, recipient of a 2014 NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG)

  • Congratulations to Riva Bruenn for passing her qualifying exams and advancing to candidacy!!  Next stop, PhD!

  • Nisrine and Gracie awarded a 2014 Heckard Award to study poplation genetics in the beautiful Calochortus venustus complex.


  • Congratulations to Dr. Ana Almeida, PhD in Plant Biology.

  • Congratulations to graduates Kelsie Morioka (Genetics and Plant Biology), Jared Nathanson (MCB), Miranda Sun (MCB) and Colin Hill (MCB).

  • Congratulations to Kelsie, nominee for a GPB citation award.  

  • Congratulations to Jared and Miranda for completing their Honor's thesis research.

  • Congratuations to Colin -- USC Medical School class of 2017!

  • Jared and Miranda present their Honor's research at the MCB Honor's symposium.

  • Susan Hepp passes her qualifying exams and advances to candidacy in the PhD program in Microbiology.  Whoo Hoo!!!

  • Riva Bruenn decides to join the lab and focus her studies on TCP genes evolution and their role in floral developmental evolution.  Riva received Honorable Mention for her proposed research from NSF GRP.


  • Congratulations to Shayla, Genetics and Plant Biology Major Citation winner!

  • Shayla Salzman, CNR Honors, presents her honors thesis at the CNR honors symposium

  • Stacy Shen, honors thesis in Integrative Biology, presents her research at CalDay

  • Shalika Gupta, Major in Environmental Sciences, presents her research at the ES Senior Thesis Symposium

  • Congratulations to Dr. Tanya Renner, PhD in Plant Biology (December 2011)

  • Congratulations to Tanya for receiving a PERT postdoc, University of Arizona!

  • Congratulations to undergraduate Jared Nathanson for receiving a prestigious SURF/Rose Hill fellowship to start his undergraduate thesis research during summer 2012.

  • Congratulations to Stephen Yee for obtaining a UC MEXUS grant for his dissertation research on the evolution of sporophytic dominance using the model system Physcomitrella patens.


  • Congrats to graduating seniors Joh Wong, Gracie Martin, Sara Fraley, and Emily Markham. (see photos)

  • Andrew Brown receives a SPUR student-initiated research award to study peta

  • Tanya Renner receives a Philomathia Graduate Student Fellowship (formerly the Chang-Lin Tien Graduate Fellowship) in the Environmental Sciences for Fall 2011.

  • Kali Lader receives a Dissertation Year Fellowship to support her stipend for her final year of dissertation research.

  • Ana Almeida receives an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for her research on floral developmental evolution in the Zingiberales!!

  • Ana receives a research grant from the Heliconia Society International to investigate the genetics of petaloidy in Zingiberales flowers.

  • Ana receives a 2011 Outstanding GSI award.

  • Gracie Benson-Martin receives a microMORPH grant for her undergraduate research on Heliconia niche modeling and ancestral ecological reconstruction.  She'll spend this summer as an intern at the Smithsonian Institution's NMNH.

  • Gracie received a Young Botanist award from the Botanical Society of America.



  • CONGRATS to Joyce Jiao Xue, GPB departmental citation award winner 2010

  • CONGRATS to Jiao and Susana -- GPB Grads 2010!

  • Kali Lader receives a 2010 outstanding GSI award

  • Kali Lader receives a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for her research on fungal community ecology on the leaves of Sequoia sempervirens.

  • Tanya Renner receives an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for her research on chitinase evolution and the origins of carnivory in the carnivorous Caryophyllales.

  • Tanya Renner is invited to present her research on carnivorous plants to the Bone Room

  • Carolina Gomez Navarro receives stipend support from the UC Botanical Garden for her research on cycads.

  • Kali Lader receives research funds and stipend support from the Save the Redwoods League for her research on fungal endophytes in Sequoia sempervirens.


  • Madelaine, Chodon, Tanya, Kali and Ana present their reseach at the annual Botany 2009 meetings in Snowbird, UT

  • Carolina Gomez Navarro receives a Systematic Biology student research award.

  • Irene Liao presents her research at the Botany 2009 meetings in Snowbird, UT.

  • Claudia Garcia presents her research at the Evolution 2009 meetings in Moscow, ID.

  • Esther Kim receives a CNR-BSP award for summer research.

  • Irene Liao and Esther Kim present their research at the HHMI symposium, Berkeley.

  • Claudia Garcia is selected as a plenary speaker for the national California McNair Conference, Berkeley.

  • Chodon Sass receives the prestigious Chang-Lin Tien Graduate Fellowship in the Environmental Sciences.

  • Irene Liao (GPB '09) receives the PMB departmental citation for being the most outstanding Plant Biology major.

  • Irene Liao receives a Haas Scholarship (declined) and a Biology Fellows Scholarship for Summer 09.


  • Laura Lagomarsino (GPB '08) receives the Melis Medal, the highest honor for undergraduate research in CNR.

  • Laura Lagomarsino & Claudia Henriquez graduate from CNR with honors degrees.

  • Sarah Starkey & Jennifer Bartlau graduate from CNR with outstanding undergraduate research records.

  • Irene Liao (GPB '09) receives a Smithsonian RTP fellowship for summer 2008

  • Madelaine Bartlett receives a 2008 National Research Foundation / South African Biosystematics Initiative Scholarship.

  • Madelaine Bartlett is invited to participate in an NSF-sponsored symposium on Plant Morphology & Evolution (MORPH).

  • Ana Almeida receives a Fulbright Fellowship. She will start doctoral research on floral development in Zingiberales.

  • Chodon Sass receives a UC MEXUS grant for her work on Mexican Aechmea .

  • Claudia Garcia receives a McNair Scholarship to study population genetics in cycads.

  • Chelsea Specht receives the 2008 Prytanean faculty award from the Prytanean Alumni Society. (more on the Prytanean faculty award )

  • Madelaine Bartlett receives an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.

  • Tanya Renner receives an NSF predoctoral fellowship for her research on the evolution of carnivory and chitinase enzymes.

  • Sarah Starkey, Claudia Henriquez, & Laura Lagomarsino receive 2,000 each for their student-initiated research project (SPUR).

2007 & 2006

  • Madelaine Bartlett wins the Vernon I. Cheadle Award (BSA, Development Section).

  •  Sankar Sridaran (MEB '07) receives the Melis Medal for outstanding presentation of his honors thesis research.

  •  Yizhuo Wang (MCB '07) receives an award for outstanding poster at the MCB Honor's symposium.

  •  Sankar, Yizhuo & Hillary Cooper (Microbiology '07) graduate with Honors.

  •  Laura Lagomarsino receives a 2007 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship & a Smithsonian RTP fellowship.

  • Laura Lagomarsino (GPB '08) receives a Nathan and Violet David Scholars Award.