Photo Credit: Mitchell Coleman

Past Graduate Student Meetings and Prize Recipients

29th Graduate Student Symposium poster

29th: April 1, 2023-April 2, 2023 (Samar R. El-Abdallah, Caitlyn Allchin, Graduate Student Representatives, Cal Poly, Humboldt)

Emma R. Fryer, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo: Niche, competition and soils shape a floral mosaic on vertic clay soils in California’s San Joaquin Desert (Best Talk)

Tamsen Dunn: San Diego State University, University of California Riverside: A new, physiologically intriguing rock cress (Boechera: Brassicaceae) from the central Sierra Nevada of California (Joint Best Poster)

John McLaughlin, San Jose State University: A Preliminary Bryophyte Flora of Henry W. Coe State Park (Joint Best Poster)

28th: April 30, 2021-May 1, 2021: Online meeting (Alex Adame, Ioana Anghel, Ryan Buck, Samantha Mihalic, Carlos Portillo, Niveditha Ramadoss, Nelly Rodriguez, Graduate Student Representatives, San Diego State University, University of California, Los Angeles)

Ryan Buck, San Diego State University: Pinyon Pine Syngameonic Hybridization (Best Full Talk)

Alexandra McElywee-Adame, San Diego State University: Multidirectional Hybridization Challenges Species Boundaries Within the Plant Genus Arbutus of Mexico (Honorable Mention Full Talk)

Alec Chiono, University of San Francisco: Testing the Climatic Variability Hypothesis with coastal and inland populations of Mimulus guttatus (Best Lightning Talk)

Rosie Deak, California Polytechnic University: Fire influences on meadow vegetation composition (Honorable Mention Lightning Talk)

Paris Krause, Sonoma State University: Using terrestrial laser scanning to evaluate non-destructive aboveground biomass allometries in diverse northern California forests (Best Poster)

Adriana Hernandez, Cornell University: Identifying ecological drivers of diversity in the highly polymorphic California endemic lily, Calochortus venustus (Honorable Mention Poster)

27th: April 5-7, 2019: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Dena Paolilli, Graduate Student Representative)

Natalie Love, University of California, Santa Barbara: A new quantitative phenological metric for use in pheno-climatic models: a case study using herbarium specimens of Streptanthus tortuous (Best Overall Presentation)

Emily Cox (undergraduate), University of California, Berkeley: Lasthenia gracilis and water stress: A glimpse into the future of California grasslands (Best Talk)

Ryan Buck, San Diego State University: Interspecific Hybridization in Pinyon Pines (Honorable Mention Talk)

Andy Siekkinen, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden / Claremont Graduate University: Systematics of Hechtia (Hechtioideae): Insights in phylogenetics and plastome evolution in a non-model organism with Next Generation Sequencing (Honorable Mention Talk)

Dena Paolilli, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo: Assessing alpine vegetation community shifts in the Sierra Nevada of California (Honorable Mention Talk)

Erin Coltharp & Chloe Knowd, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo: Oak (Quercus agrifolia) leaf domatia-mite mutualism (Joint Winner Best Poster)

Nancy Conejo, San Francisco State University: Biogeography of the whorled wattles (Acacia section Lycopodiifoliae) in the Australian Monsoon Tropics (Joint Winner Best Poster)

Drew Gilberti, California State University, Chico: Natural history of Disholcaspis eldoradensis, a galling wasp of Valley Oak (Quercus lobata): distribution, nectar, and interactions with ants (Honorable Mention Poster)

Vivian Avila & Elias Acosta-Mendoza, Santa Clara University: Reintroducing a Self-Incompatible Endangered Species – An Experimental Approach (Honorable Mention Poster)

26th: April 7-9, 2017: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden(Adam C. Schneider, Danielle Black, Graduate Student Representatives)

John Powers, University of California, Irvine: Flower scent as a potential reproductive barrier in a Hawaiian plant lineage (Best Overall Presentation)

Mitchell Coleman, California State University, Bakersfield: Seedling recruitment of Atriplex polycarpa (Chenopodiaceae) in the San Joaquin Valley of California: The roles of invasive grass competition and residual dry matter (Best Talk)

Maisie Borg, San Francisco State University: Long-term effects of CO2 enrichment on plant genome and cell size (Joint Winner Best Poster)

Adriana Hernandez, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: Genotyping using microsatellites shows strong genetic differentiation among populations of the Channel Islands endemic plant Malva assurgentiflora (Malvaceae) (Joint Winner Best Poster)

25th: April 10-12, 2015: Pomona College and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA (Jessica Orozco, Adam C. Schneider, Graduate Student Representatives)

Will Freyman, University of California, Berkeley: Integrating cytogenetic, molecular, and paleontological data in a joint Bayesian phylogenetic analysis: A case study in Onagraceae (Best Overall Presentation)

Jenna Baughman, California State University, Los Angeles: Natural desert terraria: Characterization of a Mojave Desert hypolithic moss community (Completed Research)

Melissa Johnson, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden: Testing the non-adaptive speciation hypothesis on islands: Pacific Cyrtandr (Gesneriaceae) as a model of species radiation decoupled from ecological diversification (Research in Progress)

Laura Schultheis, University of California, Santa Barbara: Exceptional drought, pathogens, and synergies leading to dieback of a classic drought tolerant shrub in California (Proposed Research)


24th: April 14, 2013: University of California, Berkeley(Genevieve Walden, Graduate Student Representative)

Jenn Yost, University of California, Santa Cruz: Foggy memories of fires gone by: Why is maritime chaparral so diverse? (Best Talk)

Diana Gamba, San Francisco State University and California Academy of Sciences: Systematics of the Octopleura clade of Miconia (Melastomataceae: Miconieae) in Tropical America (Completed Research)

Tommy Stoughton, Claremont Graduate University: Past hybridization event in Boechera (Brassicaceae) provide intriguing insights into the biogeography of the Arcto-Tertiary Geoflora in southern California (Research In Progress)

Ayla Mills, California State University, Chico: Evaluating the effects of mechanical and manual removal of Ammophila arenaria within coastal dunes of Humboldt County, California (Proposed Research)


23rd: February 13, 2010: San Jose State University (Suzie Woolhouse, Graduate Student Representative)

Brian L. Anacker, University of California, Davis: Mechanisms for temporal stability in California grasslands

Naomi Fraga, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden: Disentangling a taxonomic mess: Mimulus montioides (Phrymaceae)—one species or five?

Jennifer Goropse, San José State University: Roots, shoots, and fruits: Income, Ethnicity and Exposure to Heavy Metals by Urban Gardeners

Dena Grossenbacher, University of California, Davis: Pollinator-mediated competition between species depends on flower color similarity

C. Matt Guilliams, University of California, Berkeley: “Popping onto the Scene” – Phylogenetic Relationships of the Popcorn Flowers, Plagiobothrys (Boraginaceae), Inferred Using nrDNA (ITS) and cpDNA (trnL-trnF intergenic spacer, rps16 intron, matK intron), and Implications for the Evolution of Vernal Pool Endemic Plagiobothrys Taxa

Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden: Phylogenetic Systematics of the genus Cryptantha (Boraginaceae)

Stephanie S. Porter, University of California, Davis: Microevolution and the legume-rhizobia symbiosis during colonization of a serpentine grassland

Jenn Yost, University of California, Santa Cruz: Edaphic adaptations and speciation in Lasthenia


22nd: February 17, 2007: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Abby Moore, Ben Carter, Nicole Molinari, Graduate Student Representatives)

Gilberto Ocampo, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden: Molecular systematics of Portulaca (Portulacaceae) (Systematics)

Robert Steers, University of California, Riverside: The importance of ecotonal space in central coast vegetation mosaics (Ecology)

Robert S. Arkle, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo: Connectivity of wildfire disturbance in riparian forests, adjacent ponderosa pine forests, and stream habitat in the Salmon River Mountains, Idaho (Conservation Biology)

Jolene R. Pucci, University of California, Los Angeles; California State University, Northridge: The effects of invasive plants on an endangered sunflower, Pentachaeta lyonii Gray (Conservation Biology)

Jeremy M. Beaulieu, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo: Correlated evolution of genome size and seed mass (Evolution)


21st: February 19, 2005: San Francisco State University, Romberg Tiburon Center (Vicente Garcia, Graduate Student Representative)

M.M. Apodaca, California State University Long Beach: Evaluation of two constructed salt marshes in Long Beach, CA through examination of plant percentage cover and plant diversity (Ecology section)

Abigail Moore, University of California Berkeley: An ETS phylogeny of Balsamorhiza and Wyethia (Asteraceae) (Systematics section)

Katrina M. Dlugosch, University of California, Santa Cruz: Genetic bottlenecks and rapid evolution in an invasive shrub (Population Genetics, Paleobotany, and Ethnobotany section)


20th: February 15, 2003: University of San Diego (Elizabeth Zacharias, Graduate Student Representative)

J. L. Heisler, Arizona State University: The interaction of woody vegetation and fire in a C4 grassland: what are the mechanisms driving shrub expansion? (Completed Research)

Rebecca A. Hufft, University of California, Santa Cruz: Genetic and ecological mechanisms of diversification in Lithophragma (Saxifragaceae) (Research in Progress)

Katrina Duglosch, University of California, Santa Cruz: The genetics of colonization: native populations vs. recent introductions of Hypericum canariense, island endemic to noxious weed (Best Research Proposal)


19th: February 17, 2001: California State University, Chico (Leah Mahan, Graduate Student Representative)

Christopher Adams, University of Kentucky: Seed dormancy in Aristolochia californica (Completed)

Justin Whittal, University of California, Santa Barbara: Key innovation and rapid radiation among the columbines: insights from another chloroplast region and introns of three nuclear genes (In Progress)

Gavin Blosser, California State University, Chico: Diversity and characterization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the soils of vernal pools in northern California (Proposed)


18th: February 20, 1999: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Dennis Wall, Graduate Student Representative)


17th: February 21, 1998: University of California, Berkeley (Staci Markos, Graduate Student Representative)

V. Vaughan Symonds, California State University, Fresno: The role of varying genetic composition in hybridization between Carpobrotus chilensis and C. edulis (Aizoaceae) (Completed)

Katherine Bode, San Francisco State University: A spatial test of ectomycorrhizal facilitation of conifer tree-chaparral shrub associations in the Coast Ranges of California (Proposed)

Anna Thompson, University of California, Berkeley: Holocene migrations of Douglas-fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco]: How was Douglas-fir able to migrate so fast? (In Progress)

Eric Roalson, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Claremont Graduate University: Relationships in Carex (Cyperaceae) inferred from the nrDNA ITS and chloroplast trnL regions (In Progress)


16th: February 24, 1996: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (Lisa Schultheis, Graduate Student Representative)

Mark Fishbein, University of Arizona: Diversity and temporal change in the effective pollinators of Asclepias tuberosa (Completed Research)

Maria Clauss, University of Arizona: Causes and consequences of germination cohorts in the desert winter annual, Plantago insularis (Research in Progress)

Lena Hileman, San Francisco State University: Phylogeny and biogeography of Arbutus (Ericaceae), a putative Madrean-Tehyan disjunct genus (Research in Progress)

Gerard Allen, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden: A comparative seed germination study of mainland and Channel Island varieties of Lotus section Syrmatium (Proposed Research)


15th: February 19, 1994: University of California, Davis (Brian Smith, Graduate Student Representative)

Julie Greene, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden: Isozyme analysis of genetic variation in the endangered narrow endemic Oenothera deltoids ssp. howellii (Onagraceae) (First Place)

Jennifer Dunne, San Francisco State University: Effects of soil moisture availability on establishment of Pseudotsuga manziesii seedlings in chaparral (Second Place)

Kris Shanks, San Francisco State University: A systematic study of the genus Tricholoma (Tricholomataceae) in California (Second Place)

Manuel Lerdau, Stanford University: Ecological controls over monoterpene emissions from Douglas fir (Third Place)


14th: February 22, 1992: San Francisco State University (Daniel Pritchett, Graduate Student Representative)


13th: March 17, 1990: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (James D. Morefield, Graduate Student Representative)

Aaron Liston, University of California, Davis: Evidence for rapid allopatric speciation in Astragalus section Leptocarpi subsection Californici (Completed Research)

Claudia M. Tyler, University of California, Santa Barbara: Factors affecting seedling establishment in chaparral after fires (Research in Progress)

Randy K. Zebell, San Francisco State University: A biosystematic investigation of variation in Calochortus venustus (Proposed Research)

Maile C. Neel, University of California, Santa Barbara: Morphological and allozyme variation in Echinocereus engelmannii var. munzii (Proposed Research)


12th: October 29, 1988: San Jose State University (Valerie Haley, Graduate Student Representative)


11th: April 25, 1987: University of California, Davis (Naill McCarten, Graduate Student Representative)

Samuel Hammer, San Francisco State University, A taxonomic survey of the lichen genus Cladonia in California. Advisor: Harry Thiers. (California Botanical Society Award for Graduate Student Research)

Jon Hart, University of California, Davis: Water use patterns of two chaparral species (1st Place, Completed Research)

George R. Robinson, University of California, Davis: Effects of Habitat Fragmentation in a California Annual Grassland (2nd Place, Completed Research)

Bruce Baldwin, University of California, Davis: Chloroplast DNA phylogenetics of the Hawaiian “silver-sword alliance” (Madiinae, Asteraceae) (1st Place, Research in Progress)

Herbert M. Saylor, San Francisco State University: A taxonomic survey of the California astrogstraceous fungi without a stipe-columella (2nd Place, Research in Progress)

K. Stacy Giles, San Francisco State University: Evolutionary Relationships in the genus Eurynchium (Musci:Brachytheciaceae) in western North America (1st Place, Proposed Research)

Barbara L. Gartner, Stanford University: Mechanical and Physiological Consequences of Differences in Growth Form in One Species (2nd Place, Proposed Research)

Michael K. Wood, San Francisco State University: Soil/Plant Interactions and their Effects on Endemism in Arctostaphylos myrtifolia (3rd Place, Proposed Research)


10th: October 19-20, 1985: University of California, Santa Barbara (Joseph M. DiTomaso, Graduate Student Representative)

Jeffrey P. Hill, University of California, Riverside: Dynamics of pollen tube growth in the wild radish, Raphanus raphanistrum (Best Paper, Completed Research)

William Bond, University of California, Los Angeles: Reproductive effects of mass flowering after fire in Nolina parryi (2nd Place, Completed Research)

Niall F. McCarten, San Francisco State University: Selection for optimal surface temperature in cacti is related to a shift in herbivore deterrence mechanism (3rd Place, Completed Research)

Alan L. Koller, University of California, Davis: Internal anatomy of Sansevieria leaves (Best Paper, Research in Progress)

Asmita Patel, University of California, Riverside: A possible interaction between respiration and CAM in Pepperomia camptotricha (2nd Place, Research in Progress)

Richard W. Kerrigan, University of California, Santa Barbara: Dynamic aspects of basidiospore number and the case for amphithallic lifecycles in the mushroom genus Agaricus (2nd Place, Research in Progress)

Kirk E. Apt, University of California, Santa Barbara: Studies on neoplastic growth in marine algae (3rd Place, Research in Progress)

Edith A. Reed, University of California, Irvine: Parental effects on seedling growth rates: the interaction of abortion rate with timing of fertilization (Best Paper, Proposed Research)

Kristina Schierenbeck, San Francisco State University: Evolutionary relationships among Arctostaphylos mewukka and associated species (2nd Place, Proposed Research)


9th: April 7-8, 1984: California State University, Chico (Sandra Morey, Graduate Student Representative)

Douglas Spicher, Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, San Francisco State University: The ecology of an introduced cordgrass in San Francisco Bay (Completed Research)

Michael P. Cummings, California State University, Fullerton: Some carbon balance characteristics of evergreen and deciduous oaks and their hybrids (Work in Progress)

Dennis E. Desjardin, San Francisco State University: Undescribed species of marasmioid fungi from California (Research in Progress)

Jan Nachlinger, University of Nevada, Reno: The phenology of eight plant species in subalpine meadows in the Lake Tahoe region (Research in Progress)

F. Jay Fuller, California State University, Chico: Is cleistogamy a means of maintaining subspecific integrity in Viola purpurea? (Research Proposal)

Victoria R. Kelly, San Francisco State University: The effects of a midwinter fire on northern California chaparral (Research Proposal)


8th: October 29-31, 1982: University of California, Los Angeles (Judith Verbeke, Graduate Student Representative)

Cindy Walker, Occidental College: Crassulacean acid metabolism in Isoetes bolanderi in high elevation oligotrophic lakes (Completed Project)

Chuck Wimpee, UCLA: RuBP carboxylase pseudogene cluster? (Research in Progress)

Kathy Griffin, UCLA: Phytoplankton phyiology as a means of explaining extinctions in the fossil record: a thesis proposal (Research Proposal)


7th: October 24-25, 1981: San Francisco State University (Patricia Gordon and Christine Bern, Graduate Student Representatives)

Luann Z. Wright, San Diego State University: Shoot Geotropism: Its relationship to the acid-growth theory (Outstanding Paper)


6th: April 12-13, 1980: University of California, Riverside


5th: November 11-12, 1978: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Nancy Smith, Susanne James and Lorrie Sedillos, Graduate Student Representatives)


4th: November 12-13, 1977: University of California, Berkeley (Nancy Morin, Graduate Student Representative)

Robert N. Bowman, University of California, Davis: Phylogenetic implications from Cuticular Wax Analyses in Epilobium canum (section Zauschneria) (Award of Excellence)


3rd: October 23-24, 1976: University of California, Santa Barbara


2nd: April 12-13, 1975: University of California, Davis


1st: October 20-21, 1973: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Photo by Dean Kelch
Photo by Mitchell Coleman
Photo by Naomi Fraga
Photo by Alexander C. Yang
Photo by Mitchell Coleman

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