Bucknell Students Lauded with Botany Awards

Two Bucknell students, Emma Frawley ’17 and Nic Diaz ’17, were the sole winners of a top research prize from one of North America’s leading organizations for plant science. They are among nearly a half-dozen of their peers who earned accolades this year in the field of botany.

In 2015 the American Society of Plant Taxonomists established it’s Undergraduate Research Prize to acknowledge outstanding, independent research projects completed by undergraduate students within the last two years. Diaz, a biology major, and Frawley, an environmental studies major, were the only two to win the prize this year, and are the third and fourth Bucknell graduates to win the award since its inception.

Both Diaz and Frawley were also selected for Young Botanist Awards from the Botanical Society of America (BSA), an honor they shared with Nathan Luftman ’17, a biology and film/media studies major. The Young Botanist Award is given each year to outstanding graduating seniors in the plant sciences, and in 2017 the BSA chose only 17 students from across the United States, including the three Bucknellians. Since 2014, 11 Bucknell seniors have been recognized with this honor.

Chris Bidlack ’18, a cell biology/biochemistry major, and Jackie Ndem ’17, a biology major and incoming master’s student, received additional accolades from the BSA, each winning a 2017 Undergraduate Student Research Award. Twelve Bucknell students have received small competitive grants through this program in the last five years.

The students are members of Professor Chris Martine’s botanical research lab in the Department of Biology. The winning projects are co-advised by Burpee Postdoctoral Fellow Jason Cantley, except for the work of Jackie Ndem, which is co-advised by Jessica Hall, visiting assistant professor of biology.

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