Plant Biology Conservation

The Program in Plant Biology and Conservation is a collaboration between Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden. The program offers PhD and MS degrees, as well as courses and research opportunities for undergraduates. Explore our site to learn more.

In the Field

Briscoe in the field
Students in our program conduct research in both the field and the laboratory. Here Laura Briscoe is conducting research on bryophytes.

Recent News

 

Four of our students were recently awarded the Botanical Society of America Graduate Student Research Award. Congratulations to Jessa Finch, Elliot Gardner, Kelly Ksiazek, and Emily Lewis!

 

PBC Program Director, Nyree Zerega, was recently quoted in an article appearing in the British daily newspaper, The Guardian, reporting on the benefits of jackfruit.

 

PhD student, Kelly Ksiazek, has been awarded

 $5,849 from the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern's Nasaw Family Fund for Environmental Research for her research "Patterns of pollen movement on urban green roofs."

 

PhD student, Kelly Ksiazek, has been awarded $1,500 from The Alumnae of Northwestern University for her Green Roofs Activity Book project.

 

$7.5 Million Gift to Help Budding Plant Conservationists

The Shaw family has made a gift of $7.5 million to the Program in Plant Biology and Conservation, a collaboration between Northwestern and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

 

PhD student, Elliot Gardner, is the first ever recipient of The Garden Club of America Board of Associates Centennial Pollinator Fellowship. He will receive $4,000 to study pollination in the genus Artocarpus (Moraceae) in Malaysia.

 

PhD student, Kelly Ksiazek, has been awarded the 2014 Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Botany in Action Fellowship for $5,000.

 

PhD students, Kelly Ksiazek and Elliott Gardner have each been appointed to receive The Dr. John N. Nicholson Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year by The Graduate School of Northwestern University.

 

MS student, Nora Talkington, was awarded a continuing education award of $1,000 from the Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO).

 

The research of Chicago Botanic Garden Scientist, Stuart Wagenius, was recently featured on public TV's "Prairie Yard and Garden." Learn about "Prairie Flora: History and Future".

 

MS student, Laney Widener, has been awarded a grant of $700 from the California Native Plant Society for her research: Assessing reproductive isolation and genetic divergence in coastal California  Castilleja (Orobanchaceae) species complex.

 

MS student, Kristen Laricchia, has been awarded an ISEN (Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern) grant in the amount of $5,892 for her research Transcriptome Analysis of Breadfruit across a Domestication Gradient.

 

Read about the importance of training the next generation of botanists in this recent US News and World Report article.


Chicago Tribune article (October 30, 2013) highlighting the research of Chicago Botanic Garden scientist, Andrea Kramer, and her MS student, Alicia Foxx.

Congratulations to PhD student, Elliot Gardner, for receiving honorable mention in the Science in Society 2013 Scientific Images Contest. He will receive a cash prize and his photo of a stunning Artocarpus lanceifolius stamen with pollen will be featured in the annual Science in Society art show in October.

MS student, Anne Nies, has been awarded the Mildred Hartney Scholarship from the Elmhurst Garden Club ($1,000).

PhD student, Aleks Radosavljevic, has been awarded the Botanical Society of America’s Lawrence Memorial Award for 2013 ($2,000). 

PhD student, Lauren Umek, was awarded the 2013 grant from the Illinois Association of Environmental Professionals for her research Impacts of Restoration on Belowground Processes in Chicagoland Prairies ($1,000).

MS student, Theresa Melhem, was awarded the 2013 Botanical Society of America Graduate Student Research Award for her work on the origins and diversity of jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) in the Western Ghats of India ($500).

 

MS student, Maria Wang, was awarded the 2013 Botanical Society of America Graduate Student Research Award for her work on the diversity and origins of chempedak (Artocarpus integer) in Malaysia ($500).

 

MS student, Laney Widener, was awarded the 2013-14 Santa Clara Valley Chapter Graduate Research Scholarship for her work focused on understanding the Castilleja affinis (Orobanchaceae) subspecies complex ($1,500).

PhD student, Elliot Gardner, was awarded the 2013 Systematics Research Fund Award (jointly administered by the Linnean Society and the Systematics Association) for his thesis research focused on population genetics and species limits of Artocarpus odoratissimus Blanco (Moraceae) ($1,500).

MS student, Erin Vander Stelt, was awarded the 2013 North Central Chapter Research Grant from the Society of Wetland Scientists, for her thesis research focused on factors influencing population dynamics in Isoëtes butleri, an endangered wetland species ($750).

 

 

PhD student, Elliot Gardner, was awarded the 2013 American Society of Plant Taxonomists Graduate Student Research Award for his thesis research focused on population genetics and species limits of Artocarpus odoratissimus Blanco (Moraceae) ($800).

 

PhD student, Aleks Radosavljevic, has been awarded a one year Smithsonian Curatorial Graduate Fellowship. He will be assisting in collections improvement in the Botany Department at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC during 2013 –14, while continuing work on  his research focused on the systematics, biogeography, and taxonomic revision of the legume genus Cynometra ($27,000).

 

PhD student, Kelly Ksiazek, received a 2013 Fulbright Travel Grant and Germanistic Society of America Fellowship for her research on green roofs in Germany.

PhD student, Paul Hartzog, was awarded an ISEN (Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern) Cluster Fellowship for 2013-14. Cluster Fellows are exceptional students with deep interest in energy and sustainability.

MS student, Stephanie Frischie, has been selected to participate in the 2013 U.S. Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security at Purdue University.

 

PhD student, Kelly Ksiazek, was awarded the 2013 Phipps Conservatory Botany in Action Fellowship ($5,000) for her research in Germany: "Predicting the future of green roof biodiversity".

 

PhD student, Kelly Ksiazek, was awarded the 2013 Illinois State Academy of Science Student Research Grant ($500) for her research in Chicago: "Can designing green roofs as Illinois prairie analogs increase urban ecosystem services?"

 

PhD student, Kelly Ksiazek, was awarded the 2013 Prairie Biotic Research Inc. Award ($1,000) for her research: "Can designing green roofs as prairie analogs increase habitat for native species?"

MS student, Corey Palmer is the recipient of the 2013 Garden Club of America Fellowship in Ecological Restoration. Corey has been awarded $8,000 for her research which focuses on land management strategies in prairie restorations and how they affect soil quality.

PhD student, Elliot Gardner, has been awarded the Torrey Botanical Society Student Training Fellowship for $1000 to attend a Tropical Botany course in Florida during summer 2013.

MS student Anne Nies was awarded the Fred Case Grant ($1,000) by the Native Orchid Society for her work that focuses on orchids and their mycorrhizal associations as they relate to various land management approaches (2013).

Congratulations to Lauren Umek (PhD student)! She has been awarded a Presidential Fellowship from Northwestern University's Graduate School (2013) for her research on investigating the effects of exotic plant invasion and restoration on plant communities and soil processes. Her research supervisor is Dr. Louise Egerton-Warburton. The fellowships are the most prestigious fellowship at Northwestern and are awarded to a very limited number of graduate students each year.

Becky Barak and Aleks Radosavljevic, PhD students, hosted science activities about pollination at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Rebecca Tonietto, a PhD student, was featured on a recent NPR story about native pollinators. 
Rebecca was awarded a Presidential Fellowship from Northwestern University's Graduate School for her research on determining the effects of tall grass prairie restoration on native bee communities. Her research supervisor is Dr. Dan Larkin. The fellowships are awarded to a very limited number of graduate students each year.

 

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About Our Partner

Chicago Botanic Garden
Explore the research and opportunities at the Plant Science Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

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May 1, 2014