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  2013 Brett Wolfe
School: University of Utah
Field of study: Brett Wolfe, a second-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah, will conduct field work in Panama, studying the traits of tropical sapling trees to determine how these influence their growth and survival during seasonal droughts. His work could have implications in climate change questions.
Project location: Panama
  2013 Joel Nitta
School: Harvard University
Field of study: Joel Nitta, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University, will continue his research in Moorea, French Polynesia, where he developed a database for fern (Pteridophyta) DNA, which have a life cycle completely different from all other land plants.
Project location: French Polynesia
  2013 Onja Razafindratsima
School: Rice University
Field of study: Onja Razafindratsima, a Ph.D. candidate at Rice University, will study seed dispersal patterns in structuring and maintaining tree diversity in tropical forests where critical threats from deforestation are common worldwide. She will conduct her research in her home country of Madagascar.
    2013 Nelson Salinas
School: City University of New York
Field of study: Nelson Salinas, a Ph.D. candidate at the City University of New York, New York Botanical Gardens, will conduct research in the Andes, where he will study the effects of biogeographic processes and the flower in diversification of the Andean clade of Orthaea (blueberries). Clade refers to a group consisting of an ancestor and all its descendants.
  2012 Erin Spear
School: University of Utah
Field of study: A Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah, will research what controls the diversity of plants by studying how pathogens influence changes in tree species composition in the rainforests across the Isthmus of Panama.
Project location: Panama
  2012 Oscar Vargas
School: University of Texas
Field of study: A Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas, Austin, will unravel the evolutionary history of high Andean plants: evolution, systematics, and taxonomy of the genus (Diplostephium astaraceae), a genus of trees and shrubs.
  2012 Carolina Gomez-Posada
School: University of Washington
Field of study: Is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington. She will evaluate the potential for bamboo forest agroecosystems to foster red howler monkey conservation in a highly fragmented landscape in Colombia.
Project location: Colombia
    2012 Megan Gittinger Seifert
School: University of Florida
Field of study: Is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida. She will collect seeds of the spiny acacia in Kenya to study the evolution of the defense mechanism of the spines, using them as a model to examine the evolution of structural defense morphology.
Project location: Kenya
    2011 Kim Thompson
School: "Thomas More College BA University of Cincinnati, MED"
Field of study: "Kims work is at ancient Mayan sites in Belize, where she is studying the Mayans methods of sustainable agroforestry. She is focusing on understanding the dispersal patterns of Manilkara zapota, a tropical fruit and timber tree "
    2011 Susan Whitehead
School: "Oberlin College, BA University of Colorado, Ph,D."
Field of study: She is studying the Chemical ecology of seed dispersal in Neotropical pepper plants by short-tailed fruit bats in Costa Rica.
    2011 Jose Zuniga
School: Universidad de Coast Rica Claremont Graduate University
Field of study: "Ph.D. student in Botany at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA. He will study the systematics and biogeography of Sabiaceae, with emphasis on Meliosma, in Peru and Columbia, South America. "
    2011 Moana McClellan
School: New College of Florida Bachelor of Art
Field of study: "University of Minnesota, St. Paul. Her research topic is How do land ownership and cioeconomic processes affect the state and fate of tropical dry secondary forests? A case study in Costa Rica. "
    2010 Vanessa Boukili
School: "University of California, Berkeley - B.A. - Integrative Biology University of Connecticut - Ph.D"
Field of study: Will measure processes of recovery in naturally regenerating tropical forests by comparing traits between secondary tropical forests to those in mature forests.
Project location: Costa Rica
    2010 Genevieve Croft
School: Georgetown University - B.S. Washington University - Ph.D.
Field of study: Ecology and Evolution and Population Biology - Will investigate genetic and ecological relationships between wild and cultivated populations of a domesticated Neotropical fruit tree.
Project location: "Mexico, Panama, Brazil and Bolivia"
    2010 Cynthia Hong-Wa
School: University of Antananarivo - Madagascar - Master University of Missouri - St. Louis -Master University of Missouri - St. Louis -Ph.D.
Field of study: "She will be testing whether sympatric species are closely or distantly related, have similar or different morphologies, and occupy similar or different ecological niches, thus testing hypothesies of patterns of tropical plant diversification."
Project location: Madagascar
    2010 Stephanie Stuart
School: Harvard University - A.B. UC Berkeley - Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biology
Field of study: "She will test her hypothesis in three wet and three dry Australian forests, measuring functional traits addressing different aspects of plant function."
    2009 Amanda Wendt
School: The Evergreen State College B.S. Kirkwood Community College A.A. University of Connecticut Ph.D
Field of study: Tropical Forest Ecology Will attend a summer course in Tropical Plant Systemics offered by the Org for Tropical Studies & taught in Costa Rica. Will focus on remnant tree community effects on tent-rooting fruit bats in secondary tropical forests.
Project location: Northeastern Costa Rica
    2009 Annika Moe
School: "Universityof Minnesota Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Hendrix Colege BA - Biology 2004 "
Field of study: Tropical Ecology Will conduct controlled cross-pollination experiments among closely related species of new Guinea figs in order to assess the reproductive consequences of pollinator mistakes.
    2009 Brad Ruhfel
School: Harvard UniversityPh.D. CandidateUniversity of MichiganMaster's - 2005Eastern Michigan Univ ersityBachelor's - 1998. Assistant Professor and Curator of the Eastern Kentucky University Herbarium.
Field of study: "System. Botany His res. will prod. a phylogeny for the Clusiaceae, & will use this res.to pres. a rev. class. of the group & invest. patterns of biogeorgraphy to test if this curr. dist. is due to cont. drift or more recent long dist. disp. events." Current Position:
    2009 Daniel Piotto
School: Yale University Ph.D. Candidate Yale University Master of Philosophy 2008 Yale University Master of Forestry 2006 Catie (Costa Rica) Master of Science 2001 UNESP (Brazil) B.S. Forestry Engineering 1998
Field of study: "Tropical Forest Ecology Will investigate how proximity to old growth forest affects structure, composition, dispersal and recruitment to secondary forests. "
    2008 Nathan Swenson
School: St. Olaf College B.A. New Mexico State University M.Sc. University of Arizona Ph.D in Progress
Field of study: Ecology and Evolution His project is designed to test whether plant-herbivore interactions are critical to determing the co-existence of tree species in a Costa Rica dry forest community.
Project location: Costa Rica
    2008 Melissa Islam
School: University of Colorado Ph.D. in progress Colorado State University M.S. in Botany Colorado State University B.S. in Botany
Field of study: "Systematics Will study the evolutionary history of the domesticated coca plant, find its closest wild relatives and trace the origin cocaine synthesis. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Will study the economic history of eco. useful trop. plants."
    2008 Rachel Schmidt Jabaily
School: University of Wyoming B.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison Ph.D in Progress
Field of study: Botany Her project will examine the evolution and conservation implications of monocarpic and polycarpic life histories.
Project location: Puya (Bromeliaceae)
    2008 Kathryn Theiss
School: Willamette University B.A. University of Connecticut Ph.D. in Progress
Field of study: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Her project will examine the effects of habitat fragmentation on two species of Malagasy Orchids.
    2007 Joseph Veldman
School: University of FloridaPh.D. Candidate in Botany
Field of study: "Will involve students at the Bolivian Institute for Forest Research and will focus on the factors contributing to the invasion of the Amazon Forest by Savanna Grasses in Chiquitania, Bolivia"
    2007 Monica Krause
School: University of Missouri - St. Louis PhD Candidate
Field of study: Plant Systematics Will use the species-rich genus Anthurium (ca.800 Neotropical species) as a model to understand evolutionary patterns and the development of plant diversity.
    2007 Felipe Zapata
School: "University of Missouri  St. Louis Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics"
Field of study: Will use integrative taxonomy to determine the species limits and evolutionary history of Excallonia Mutis Ex. L.f. in the highlands of Bolivia and Peru.
Project location: Bolivia and Peru
    2006 Natalia Cacho
School: University of Wisconsin PhD 2008 National Autonomous University of Mexico/B.S. Biology
Field of study: "Systematics, Biogeography Topic: "The Phylogeny and biogeography of the Pedilanthus clade with a special focus on Euhorbia tithymaloides.""
Project location: The Caribbean
    2006 Nanci Ross
School: "University of Connecticut - Storrs PHD Candidate University of Nebraska, Lincoln B.S. Biological Science"
Field of study: "Ethnobotany, Economic Botany and Plant Ecology Topic: "The effect of home forest gardens built by ancient Mayans in northwestern Belize on the extant tree species composition of the tropical forests." "
Project location: Belize
    2006 Bбrbara Ayala-Orozco
School: UC Santa Cruz/PHD Candidate National Autonomous University of Mexico/B.S. Biology
Field of study: Environmental Studies (Tropical Ecology)
    2006 Erin Tripp
School: University of North Carolina Ph.D. Candidate in Biology
Field of study: Topic: Floral and breeding system evolution in the genus Ruellia and its relatives to understand the processes that contribute to tropical plant diversification.
Project location: Mexico
    2005 Elaine Hooper
School: Yale University Ph.D. Candidate University of Illinois at Chicago Ph.D.- Biological Sciences McGill University MS-Biology University of Saskatchewan BS.
Field of study: Effects of forest fragmentation on seed dispersal and forest regeneration at project site in central Amazon.
Project location: Brazil
    2005 Silvia Lomascolo
School: University of Florida Ph.D. Candidate in Zoology
Field of study: Topic: "Explaining the biodiversity of Ficus (Moraceae): have seed dispersers influenced the evolution of fig traits?"
Project location: "Papua, New Ginea"
    2003 Britta Hardesty
School: "Atlanta University University of Georgia, Anthens, GA Ph.D. Plant Biology"
Field of study: "Plant Biology Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics of two vertebrate-dispersed tropical trees, simarouba amaro and symphonia globufera."
Project location: "Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, Panama"
    1989 Cristian Samper
School: Harvard University
Field of study: Fruit Production and seed dispersal of Clusia in Columbia
Project location: Columbia

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