Berberis gilgiana

Research Awards Announced

Arboretum announces research award recipients

March 14, 2012

Berberis gilgiana

Berberis gilgiana

The Arnold Arboretum is pleased to announce that it has granted several research awards to support studies that utilize the institution’s collections of living plants, herbarium specimens, and extensive library and archival resources.

The Deland Award for Student Research was presented to Laura Lagomarsino, a PhD student in the Davis Lab in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. Ms. Lagomarsino is studying the evolution of secondary woodiness in the Lobelioideae, a primarily temperate group of herbaceous plants. Award funds will enable Ms. Lagomarsino to travel to Peru to collect plant specimens for the Herbarium of the Arnold Arboretum (A) and to advance her studies of wood anatomy. The Deland Award was established in 1992 through the generous bequest of F. Stanton Deland, Jr., Harvard c’36, and supports research on the comparative biology of woody plants conducted by graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

The James R. Jewett Prize was awarded to two post-doctoral researchers, Dr. Jorge Lora and Dr. Bharti Sharma, to further their studies on the biology of flowers and fruits. Dr. Lora will visit the Arboretum as part of his work in the laboratory of Professor Maria Herrero of the Pomology Department at the Aula Dei Experimental Station–CSIC, Spain. Using the Arboretum’s collection of plants in the rose family (Rosaceae), he will examine the evolution of ovule morphology from the earliest stages to maturity and investigate the expression pattern of a gene considered important to ovule development. Dr. Sharma, a researcher in the Kramer Lab in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, is interested in the evolution of petal identity and development. Capitalizing on the tremendous floral diversity found in the barberry family (Berberidaceae), Dr. Sharma will compare petal development using microscopy and comparative gene expression techniques in Epimedium rubum and Berberis gilgiana. This award is made possible by the generosity of Professor James R. Jewett through the James R. Jewett Fund.

The Sargent Award was presented to Dr. Hugh McAllister and Dr. Claire Williams. Dr. McAllister, honorary lecturer at the University of Liverpool, studies the evolutionary relationships of species within genera, and will seek to clarify the relationships between diploid and polyploid species by comparing chromosome numbers. Dr. Williams studies the reproductive biology of conifers as a distinguished scholar at the Forest History Society and a visiting scholar at the National Center for Evolutionary Synthesis. Testing plants in the Arboretum’s conifer collection, Dr. Williams will investigate whether pollen dispersed during the day or at night is more highly represented within the micropyle of female cones. Made possible by the generosity of Dr. Jack Wittenberg through the Charles Sprague Sargent Fund, the Sargent Award provides support for visiting scholars to conduct research utilizing the Arboretum’s collections of living plants, herbarium specimens, and/or library and archival materials.

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