Cunin/Sigal Award Recipients

Our Cunin/Sigal Award Recipients

The Cunin/Sigal Research Award is made possible by the generosity of Elise and Marlowe Sigal (AB 1952; MBA 1954) through the Cunin/Sigal Research Award Endowment, established in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Harry L. Cunin. The award supports investigations by graduate and advanced undergraduate students engaged in botanical research.

Jedaidah Chilufya

Jedaidah Chilufya

2019 Cunin/Sigal Award
PhD Student, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Jedaidah will collect nodules from several woody legumes in the Arboretum’s living collections. After isolating the rhizobia present in the nodules, she will innoculate soybeans with the isolated rhizobia and test symbiosis efficiency to see if it boosts soybean yields.

Avalon Owens

Avalon Owens

2018 Cunin/Sigal Award
PhD Student, Tufts University

Previously, Avalon surveyed firefly populations in multiple sites and the Arboretum was the most species-diverse firefly habit found in the Boston area. With the Sigal Award, she will examine how artificial light impacts firefly courtship using LEDs of varying colors and intensities. This could lead to the development of firefly friendly lighting.

Fall Foliage in the Leventritt Garden 10/18/2016

Bryan Connolly

2014 Cunin/Sigal Award
PhD Candidate, University of Connecticut, Brand Lab

Aronia (chokeberry) has low genetic diversity which reduces its ability to adapt to new threats, such as pest outbreaks or changing climates. Bryan is interested in developing new Aronia hybrids to increase genetic diversity by performing crosses with Aronia, Sorbus, and other related genera in the Arboretum collections.