Earl Core Student Research Scholarship

The Society presents this award annually in honor of one of our founding members, Dr. Earl Core.

This award provides up to $1,200 in financial assistance in support of student research projects in plant taxonomy, systematics, and ecology.


Award Recipients

Earl L. Core

Earl Core Student Research Award

Earl L. Core (1902-1984) was a professor of Biology at West Virginia University for many years. Dr. Core was a major force in the founding of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Club in 1935, served as president in 1950 and was editor of the journal Castanea for 35 years.

Earl Core Student Research
Scholarship Requirements

  1. An applicant for a Core Student Research Award and his/her research advisor must be members of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society (SABS).

  2. The research advisor will attest to the applicant’s student status and validity of the research proposal.

  3. Award applications for consideration each year must be received by the committee chair (Jonathan Horton) no later than February 21, 2021.

  4. Recipients of a Core Student Research Award are expected to submit a summary for publication in Chinquapin (our newsletter).

Information About the
Earl Core Student Research Scholarship

  • Awards will be designated on a competitive basis with the applications reviewed and awardee(s) selected by the Core Student Research Award Committee.
    • Should a member of the committee be the research advisor of an applicant, he/she will be excused as a reviewer for that proposal.

  • Though not required, recipients are encouraged to submit the results of their research to Castanea for possible publication. In any case, oral presentation(s) and/or publication(s) resulting from financial support will appropriately acknowledge SABS.

  • Each application will be reviewed by the full committee.

  • An individual award may not exceed $1,200.

  • Support in the form of a Core Student Research Award will be presented to an individual student for a given research project only once; applications for additional support for the same project will not be considered.

  •  Timeline:
    • The chair will report the decision of the committee to the Society President by April 1st.
    • Recipients will be announced in April at the annual SABS/ASB meeting.
    • The annual award period will run from May 1 of the award year through April 30 of the next year.

Earl Core Student Research Award Committee

Lisa Wallace

2020 - 2022

Jonathan Horton

2017 - 2020

Joe Pollard

2019 - 2021

Earl Core Student Research Award Recipients


Jessie Pelosi (University of Florida; advisor Dr. Emily Sessa): Life without a sporophyte: reconstructing the demographic history of the Appalachian gametophyte-only fern, Vittaria appalachiana, using population genomics.

Remington Burwell (Ohio University, Athens): Integrative Taxonomical Approach for Delineating Species within the Affinis and Edulis Species Complexes in Viola of the Coastal Plains. 


Cheyenne Moore (Bucknell University; advisor Dr. Chris Martine): The conservation challenge of linear populations: Using field surveys and herbarium collections to inform the populations genetics of a Pennsylvania rare plant, Baptisia australis var. australis

Mason McNair (University of Georgia; advisor Dr. Wendy Zomlefer): Delineating taxa within the Sarracenia rubra species complex. 


Nicholas Flanders (Old Dominion University; advisor Dr. Lytton Musselman): Effects of environmental conditions on early survival of a bird-dispersed mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum.

Jonathan Kleinman (University of Alabama; advisor Dr. Justin Hart): Trait-based plant response to wind, logging, and prescribed fire in Pinus woodlands. 


Adam Ramsey (University of Memphis) – The Effects of Mitochondrial Heteroplasmy on Individual Fitness in Wild Carrot

Jennifer Hastings (Ohio University) – Comparative Ecology and Niche Differentiation of three new mid-Appalachian Acaulescent Blue violet species


Eranga Wettewa (Mississippi State University) –
EPIC markers for understanding evolutionary diversification in Platanthera (Orchidaceae)

M. Taylor Perkins (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) –
Phylogeographic examination of Castanea Mill. (Fagaceae) morphotypes in the eastern United States


Jenna Dorey (The New York Botanical Garden) –
Systematics and biogeography of Carex section Laxiflorae (Cyperaceae): reconstructing the evolutionary history of an unusual disjunction in a clade of temperate sedges

Jerald Pinson (University of Florida) – Comparative transcriptomics of independent, sporophyteless gametophytes of the Appalachian Mountains


Jessica Allen (The New York Botanical Garden) – Assessing the threat of climate change to endemic southern Appalachian lichens: an integrative approach

Anna Nicole Long-Aragon (University of Southern Mississippi) – Structural Evolution of Butterfly Egg Mimicry within the Passionflowers (Passiflora)


Clayton M. Costa (Towson University) – Molecular phylogeny of golden asters, subtribe Chrysopsidinae (Asteraceae, Astereae), based on nuclear ribosomal and chloroplast sequence data

Renee Fortner (East Carolina University) – Critical Biological Knowledge of Thalictrum cooleyi, (Ranunculaceae) for Conservation and Recovery

Karoline Oldham (George Mason University) – Geographical history and infraspecific morphological variation of the hemiparasitic wildflower, American Cow-wheat (Melampyrum lineare; Orobanchaceae)


Matthew Hansen (Towson University) – Genetic diversity and gene flow in the invasive tree-of-heaven along Interstate 95: Assessing the role of roadways in the spread of Ailanthus altissima.


Emily R. Blyveis (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) – The Vascular Flora of the Tennessee River Gorge, Hamilton and Marion Counties, Tennessee.

Kileigh Browning (Elon University) – Ecological Interactions Between Two Non-native Disturbances in the High-elevation Beech Forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Nathan A. Daniel (Ohio University) – American Chestnut Restoration in Eastern Hemlock-dominated Forests of Southeast Ohio.

Joseph Moosbrugger (Ohio University) – An Annotated Flora of Crane Hollow Preserve, Hocking County.

David Walker (Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University) – Radial Growth Response of Eastern Hemlock to Infestation of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.


Cecile Deen (University of Georgia) – Geographic Variation of Floral Traits in Geranium maculatum.

M. Steven Furches (University of Tennessee) – The role of hybridization in generating species- and population-level variation in Sarracenia.

James C. Lendemer (The New York Botanical Garden) – Assessing Leprara (Stereocaulaceae, Lichenized Ascomycetes) biodiversity in the southern Appalachians.

Natasha Shipman (Western Carolina University) – Sensory cues for pollination and pollination visitors of Trillium cuneatum.

Julia Stutzman (James Madison University) – A taxonomic revision of endemic members of Cordia L. (Boraginaceae) in the Galapagos Islands.


Tianita Duke (Austin Peay State University) – Taxonomy, ecology, and distribution of unusual populations of Lysimachia hybrida (Myrsinaceae) from Tennessee and Alabama.

Sarah Galliher (Elon University) – Determining the effects of beech mortality due to beech bark disease on spring ephemerals in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Benjamin Hook (Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University) – Influence of age, diameter, and location on compression wood formation in Pinus strobus L. following ice storm damage.


Michael W. Denslow (Appalachian State University) – Spatial patterns, survey gaps and site selection bias in North Carolina floristics studies.

Alexandra Kay (Elon University) – The effect of wild boar (Sus scrofa) rooting on plant biodiversity in high-elevation beech forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Juan Carlos Villareral (University of Connecticut) – Population genetics and evolutionary implications of the loss of sexual reproduction in the Southern Appalachian hornwort Megaceros aenigmaticus.


Fern Smallridge Perkins (Appalachian State University) – Increased nitrogen deposition and the green algal lichen Umbilicaria mammulata: too much of a good thing?

Jay F. Bolin (Old Dominion University) – Evolution of Virginia quillworts: a morphological and molecular parentage study of several undescribed tetraploid (2n = 44) populations of Isoetes.

Gerald Bresowar (Appalachian State University) – Phylogeography of Sibbaldiopsis tridentate.


Joy van Dervort-Sneed
(Appalachian State University) – Species delineation of two imperiled wild gingers (Asarum contracta and Asarum rhombiformis) using morphology, molecules and pollinators.

Julie Wyatt (Wake Forest University) – Limiting similarity among coexisting species in the herbaceous layer of Southern Appalachian cove forests.


Dwayne Estes (University of Tennessee) – Systematics of two species of Gratiola.

William Flatley (Virginia Polytechnic Institution and State University) – The link between land use pattern and soil erosion rates in Giles County, Virginia.

Mahannad Al-Saghir (Virginia Polytechnic Institution and State University) – Systematics of Pistacia.


Megan Burns (Warren Wilson College) – The effect of Removal of Invasive Plant Species on Native Plant Diversity.

Ryan Walker McEwan (Ohio University) – A Dendroecological fire-history Reconstruction of Dysart Woods, an Old-growth Mixed Mesophytic Forest.

Tyler Smith (McGill University) – Systematics and Ecology of the Carex virescens clade.


Lorelei J. Hartman (Longwood University) – A comparison of clearcut and shelterwood harvesting effects on understory plant species in central Virginia piedmont forests.

Joey Shaw (University of Tennessee) – Morphological analysis of Prunus sect. Prunocerasus.

Olin Scott Taylor (Appalachian State University) – Biosystematic investigations of the Lindera benzoin complex in North America.

Lisa Williams (George Mason University) – Floristic survey of the eastern Goose Creek watershed, Loudoun County, Virginia.


Susan B. Farmer (University of Tennessee) – Additional Insights into Trilliaceae Phylogeny; The Delostylis Group.

Thomas Earl Hancock (Wake Forest University) – Species living on the edge: ecophysiological adaptation in barrier beach plants and possible effects of climate change on biodiversity.

Aswini Pai (Ohio University) – Phenology of Acorus calamus L., a perennial wetland macrophyte in Southeastern Ohio.

Kristin Taverna (University of North Carolina) – Forests of continuity of the North Carolina Piedmont: Species composition and distribution across the landscape.


Christopher A. Adams (University of Kentucky) – A comparative study of seed dormancy and germination in four closely related Aristolochia (Aristolochiaceae) species.

Sonja Louise Himes (Western Carolina University) – Exploring the costs and benefits of self-fertility in poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata).

Jess Peirson (Ohio University) – A systematic revision of Collinsonia L. (Lamiaceae).


Chris Doffitt (Univ. of Louisiana at Monroe) – A Checklist of the Vascular Flora of Ouachita County, Arkansas.

Brian R. Keener (University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa) – Systematics of the Sagittaria subulata group (Alismataceae).

Nannette Reese (University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa) – A Biological Survey of Echinodorus floridanus (Alismataceae).

Darrin L. Rubino (Ohio University) – Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics of Decaying Woody Debris.


Rebecca L. Brown (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) – Propagule pressure and species diversity in riparian systems.

John Hays (Northeast Louisiana University) – A floristic survey for Agalinis along the Gulf coast.

Tanya Lee (Northeast Louisiana University) – Juncaceae in Louisiana.

A. Christina Williams (Ohio University) – Genetic variation in naturalized stands of Pawlownia tomentosa in the Southeastern US.


Leon Adler (Towson University) – Water relations and growth of Polygonum perfoliatum L. in varying environments.

Jennifer Floyd (North Carolina State University) – Species relationships in Gaylussacia (Ericaceae).

Howard Horne (Florida State University) – The genus Stillingia in Florida: a taxonomic and natural history study.

Christopher Reid (Northeast Louisiana University) – The vascular flora of Wilkinson County, Mississippi.

Anita Rose (University of Tennessee) – Coarse woody debris and nutrient dynamics in a southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest.


Samara Hamze (East Carolina University) – Effects of weed invasion on threatened endemic pitcher’s thistle.

Kerry Heafner (Old Dominion University) – Electrophoretic studies of Isoetes in the southeastern United States.


Nicholas Drozda (Western Carolina University) – Effects of pollination syndromes on the genetics structure of Hexastylis heterophylla (Ashe) Small.

Gerry Moore (Vanderbilt University) – A systematic and taxonomic investigation of Rhynchospora, section Longirostres.

William Noel (Clemson University) – Floristic study of the Greenville watershed.