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GCA Scholarships Recipients: The Garden Club of America Montine M. Freeman Scholarship in Native Plant Studies

2018 Uma Venkatesh

Uma Venkatesh, PhD, is a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Biology at Pennsylvania State University. She is involved in the analysis of large- scale genetic data for the entire collection of over 1,200 species of native and naturalized plants as well as cultivars at the university’s arboretum. Venkatesh is also studying the phylogeny, or molecular evolution, of parasitic plants.  This project will allow her to rediscover and propagate three rare native parasitic plants. In the course of her work Venkatesh will gather information about the plants’ biology, current status, growth requirements, and performance as cultivated plants in botanical gardens with an eye toward their conservation.

2018 Angela Merriken

Angela Merriken is a horticulture and landscape design student at St. Louis Community College–Meramec in Kirkwood, Missouri. Her research will contribute to the development of a threatened plants of the Ozark Plateau garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, operated by the Missouri Botanical Garden. Merriken will establish a working list of rare and endangered plants for inclusion in the garden.  This rare-plant research will be used to create interpretive materials that will help connect the garden audience to Shaw Nature Reserve’s conservation efforts.


Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2018, more than $308,400 was awarded to 65 scholars.

In its inaugural year, the Montine M. Freeman Scholarship in Native Plant Studies was awarded to Angela Merriken and Dr. Uma Venkatesh.

Read more about the new Scholarship and the recipients.