Shinn Grants Awarded to Ten Students

Katrina DeWitt gets up-close and personal with a Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea). She is one of ten grant recipients of the Tom and Bruce Shinn Fund administered by the NC Native Plant Society.
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By Debra Murray

Congratulations to 2022 student awardees of the Tom and Bruce Shinn Fund! Ten students from universities across North Carolina received funds for their research on native plants.

Student proposals covered a range of research topics, many centered on understanding the impacts of our changing climate on plants and their allies. Ghost forests, stark symbols of rising sea levels, are the focus of Aeran Coughlin’s studies. Impacts on mosses receive much needed attention from Leigha Henson. Melina Keighron’s clever field experiments will examine pollinator choice when there is a reduction in bee pollinators. And Katrina DeWitt looks closely at the microbial communities within pitcher plants and how they could be affected by changing environmental conditions.

Read more about their intriguing research proposals here.

2022 Tom and Bruce Shinn Grant Recipients

Aeran Coughlin, Duke University, “Saltwater-induced community change in forested coastal wetlands of North Carolina.”

Alyssa Young, UNC Greensboro, “Legume-rhizobia specificity and inoculation as a potential tool in restoration.”

Brandon Wheeler, Western Carolina University, “Locust pocus: Morphological and molecular tests of species delimitation in Robinia of the southeastern United States.”

Katrina DeWitt, Duke University, “Microbial diversity in the native pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea: the role of environmental factors across short temporal scales.”

Leigha Henson, Appalachian State University, “Warming and precipitation effects on several common moss species of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.”

Melina Keighron, North Carolina State University, “The effects of climate change-induced wild bee pollinator declines on plant fitness.”

Merry Conlin, North Carolina State University, “The inconspicuous Ludwigia: Quantitative habitat characterization of critically imperiled Ludwigia ravenii (Onagraceae).”

Rachel Vinson, UNC Greensboro, “Investigating the impacts of drought on plant and insect communities in North Carolina longleaf pine savanna.”

Ryan O’Connell, Duke University, “Evaluating the impact of timber management strategies on mountain heartleaf (Hexastylis contracta), a species of conservation concern.”

Tara Hall, Western Carolina University, “A study of morphological, cytological, and molecular variation in the eastern North American flowering plant, Micranthes virginiensis (Saxifragaceae).”

Debra Murray is chairperson of the Grants & Scholarships Committee of the NC Native Plant Society. The committee reviews grant proposals for student research (Tom and Bruce Shinn Fund), community projects (B.W. Wells Stewardship Fund) and land conservation (Alice Zawadzki Land Conservation Fund).

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