-Self Nomination During Abstract SUBMISSION-

Each year since 1956, the George R. Cooley Award has been awarded by the ASPT to one of its early-career members for a paper judged to be the best in plant systematics presented the ASPT's annual meeting. Considered one of the most prestigious early-career recognitions in the plant sciences, the award is named for George R. Cooley, a successful banker who studied plants and worked in conservation in retirement.

To be considered for the Cooley Award, one must:

  • Be a botanist in the early stages of his/her career (Masters or Ph.D. students, or within the first year post-conferral of their Ph.D.).

  • Present research that is substantially complete, synthetic, and original. It should be made clear within the presentation how this relates to the thesis/dissertation, and what academic degree will be (or has been) obtained as a result of the work. Applicants in the early stages of their graduate work are unlikely to be competitive.

  • Ensure the research presented, even if collaborative, should be significantly that of the eligible individual, who will be the senior author in most cases.

  • Present only one talk in each annual competition, and an individual may win the award only once.

Past awardees

2019Isaac Lichter Marck (Univ. of California, Berkeley), Historical biogeography of rock daisies (Asteraceae) in the sky island archipelago of the southwestern United States and Mexico.
2018Rebecca Stubbs (Univ. of Florida), The evolution of cold-adapted plants: A phylogenomic analysis of Micranthes (Saxifragaceae).
2017Angela McDonnell (Oklahoma State Univ.), Phylogenomics and evolution of New World milkweed vines (Gonolobinae) and resurrection of Chthamalia: a genome skimming and targeted enrichment approach.
2016Thomas Stoughton (Claremont Graduate Univ.), Evolution and Systematics of Claytonia lanceolata sensu lato (Montiaceae):
2015Carrie A. Kiel (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden), The evolution of androecial form in the 'justicioid' lineage (Acanthaceae).
2014Ryan Folk (The Ohio State Univ.), ‘Sky islands’ in the eastern US? – Strong phylogeographic structure in the Heuchera parviflora group (Saxifragaceae).
2013Ricardo Kriebel (New York Botanical Garden & CUNY), Syndromes within syndromes: floral diversification in buzz pollinated Conostegia (Melastomataceae, Miconieae)
2012Mauricio Diazgranados (Saint Louis University & Missouri Botanical Garden), Geography shapes the phylogeny of frailejones (Espeletiinae Cuatrec., Asteraceae): a remarkable example of recent rapid radiation in sky islands. Co-author: Janet Barber
2011Erin Tripp (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden), Physacanthus (Acanthaceae): a heteroplasmic, intergeneric, interlineage hybrid? Co-authors: Lucinda Mcdade, Siti Fatimah Isa and Iain Darbyshire
2010Craig F. Barrett (The Ohio State Univ.), Species delimitation, phylogeography, and identification of evolutionarily significant units in a rare but widespread North American mycoheterotrophic orchid, Corallorhiza striata (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae). Co-author: John Freudenstein
2009[Is this you? Please contact the ASPT webmaster]
2008Brian Knaus (Oregon State Univ.), A fistful of Astragalus : incipient speciation in the American West? Co-authors: Aaron Liston and RC Cronn
2007Ann Willyard (Univ. of South Dakota), Integrating phylogenetic and population genetic approaches: A case study using Pinus washoensis. Co-authors: Aaron Liston and RC Cronn
2006Danica T. Harbaugh (Univ. of California, Berkeley), Unraveling the complex history of sandalwoods (Santalum, Santalaceae)
2005Christopher Martine (Univ. of Connecticut), The evolution and natural history of dioecy in Australian spiny Solanum (Solanaceae). Co-authors: Gregory J. Anderson, Donald H. Les and David E. Symon
2004[Is this you? Please contact the ASPT webmaster]
2003Lucia Lohmann (Univ. of Missouri-St. Louis), A new generic classification for Bignonieae (Bignoniaceae).
2002Nyree J.C. Zerega (New York University & New York Botanical Garden), Molecular Phylogenetic and Genome-wide Analyses of Artocarpus (Moraceae): Implications for the Systematics, Origins, Human-mediated Dispersal, and Conservation of Breadfruit.
2001Mary Kathryn "Maggie" Whitson (Duke Univ.), Untangling Physalis (Solanaceae) from the physaloids: two-gene phylogeny vindicates the splitters.
2000[Is this you? Please contact the ASPT webmaster]
1999[Is this you? Please contact the ASPT webmaster]
1998Randy Linder (Univ. of Texas), The external transcribed spacer of the rDNA repeat: A new means of resolving low-level relationships in the Asteraceae and closely allied families. Co-authors: Leslie Goertzen, Javier Francisco-Ortega and Robert Jansen
1997Andrea D. Wolfe (Univ, of Oklahoma), Qiu-Yun Xiang (Washington State Univ.), Old wine in new skin--reassessing hybridization in Penstemon using microsatellite-based characters. Co-author: Susan R. Kephart
1996Lawrence M. Kelly (Cornell Univ.).
1995Paul S. Manos (Cornell Univ.), Cladistic analyses of molecular variation in "higher" Hamamelididae and Fagaceae, and systematics of Quercus section Protobalanus,
1994James M. Porter (Univ. of Arizona).
1993[Is this you? Please contact the ASPT webmaster]
1992Eric Knox (Univ. of Michigan), Evolution of the giant lobelias (Lobeliaceae) in eastern Africa.
1991Anne Bruneau (Cornell Univ.), Phylogenetic relationships in Erithrina (Leguminosae: Phaseolae). Co-author: Jeffrey Doyle
1991Andrew W. Douglas (Louisiana State Univ.), The utility of floral ontogenetic analysis in phylogenetic reconstructions. co-author: Shirley Tucker
1990Loren H. Rieseberg (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden), Phylogenetic and systematic inferences from chloroplast DNA, nuclear ribosomal DNA, and isozyme variation in Helianthus section Helianthus (Asteraceae). Co-authors: Stephen M. Beckstrom-Sternberg, Aaron Liston, and Dulce Arias
1989Elizabeth A. Kellogg (Harvard Univ.), Phylogeny of the Triticeae (Poaceae): Molecular and morphological data.
1988Mark W. Chase (Univ. of Michigan), Chromosome evolution in subtribe Oncidiinae (Orchidaceae): An evaluation of polyploidy, with evidence from variation in restriction sites in chloroplast DNA and isozyme number. Co-authors: J. D. Palmer and R. G. Olmstead
1988Matthew Lavin (Cornell Univ.), Systematics of Coursetia (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae).
1987Robert Wyatt (Univ. of Georgia), Allopolyploidy in bryophytes: Recurring origins of Plagiomnium medium. Co-authors: I. J. Odrzykoski and Ann Stoneburner
1986Kenneth J. Sytsma (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison), Chloroplast DNA evidence for the origin of the genus Heterogaura from a species of Clarkia (Onagraceae).
1985Jeff J. Doyle (Cornell Univ.), Molecular and morphological approaches to the evolution of a polyploid complex.
1984Doulgas E. Soltis (Washington State Univ.), Autopolyploidy in Tolmiea menziesii (Saxifragaceae).
1983Wayne J. Elisens (Miami Univ.), Systematic approaches to generic delimitation in Maurandya sensu lato (Scrophulariaceae).
1982Meredith Lane (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder), Empirical evidence for the adaptive significance of ligule epidermal microtexture.
1981Gregory J. Anderson (Univ. of Connecticut), Sex forms in Solanum.
1979Michael Donoghue (Harvard Univ.), Growth patterns in Viburnum (Caprifoliaceae) and their taxonomic significance.
1979Honorable mention: Fred R. Ganders (Univ. of British Columbia), Bruce A. Bohm (Univ. of British Columbia), and Timothy Plowman (Field Museum), Systematics and evolution of the cultivated cocas.
1979Honorable mention: Steven R. Hill (Texas A&M), Dispersal and speciation in Malvastrum (Malvaceae).
1978Melinda Denton (Univ. of Washington), Endemism and evolutionary divergence in the Sedum section Gormania complex (Crassulaceae).
1977Howard C. Stutz (Brigham Young Univ.), Heritable variation in Atriplex canescens.
1976Robert C. Gardner(Ohio State Univ.), Patterns of adaptive radiation in Lipochaeta DC (Compositae) of the Hawaiian Islands.
1975William R. Anderson (Univ. of Michigan), The nature and significance of cleistogamy in the Malpighiaceae.
1974Ernest Small (Plant Res. Inst., Ottawa), The systematics of Cannabis.
1971Beryl Simpson Vuilleumier (Harvard Univ.), Multiple modes of speciation in the Pereziae of southern South America.
1970Lorin L Nevling, Jr. and Thomas S. Elias (Harvard Univ.), Calliandra pollinia and systematic implications.
1968Rainer W. Scora (Univ. of California, Riverside), Divergence in Monarda (Labiatae).
1967Dianne Fahselt (Univ. of Western Ontario), Chromatographic comparison of anthocyanins in Dicentra species and hybrids.
1966James M. Kane (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison), Biosystematics of the genus Actaea (Ranunculaceae) in North America.
1965John T. Mickel (New York Botanical Garden), Hybridization in Mexican species of Anemia.
1964Jacques Kagan, R. E. Alston, T. J. Mabry, and H. Rosler (Univ. of Texas, Austin), Flavonoid components of Baptisia species.
1963Preston Adams (DePauw Univ.), Studies in the Guttiferae. I. A synopsis of Hypericum sect. Myriandra.
1963James A. Duke (USDA, Beltsville, Md.), for 1961 paper, The psamophytes of the Carolina fall-line sandhills.
1963Willard R. Payne (Univ. of Michigan), A re-evaluation of the genus Ambrosia (Compositae).
1963Henry J. Thompson (Univ. Calif., Los Angeles) and Wallace R. Ernst (Smithsonian Inst.), Contrasting patterns of variations in Eucnide and Sympetaleia (Loasaceae).
1963Dale M. Smith and Donald A. Levin (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana), A chromatographic study of reticulate evolution in the Appalachian Asplenium complex.
1962Otto T. Solbrig (Gray Herbarium, Harvard Univ.), Infraspecific variation in the Gutierrezia sarothrae complex (Compositae: Astereae).
1961Wallace R. Ernst (Stanford Univ.), On the family status of the Fumariaceae.
1959Kenton L. Chambers (Yale Univ.), Cytological evidence on the relationship of Krigia and Serinia.
1958Richard A. Howard (Director of the Arnold Arboretum), Vascular anatomy of the petiole as a taxonomic character.
1958Julian A. Miller (Univ. of Georgia), J. E. Giddens (Univ. of Georgia), and A. A. Foster (Southeastern Georgia Forest Exp. Sta.), A survey of the fungi of forest and cultivated soils of Central America.
1957John B. Haller (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara), The relations of Pinus ponderosa and P. jeffreyi.
1957Kenton L. Chambers (Yale Univ.), Cytogenetic evidence of the relationships of Microseris scapigera.
1957James W. Hardin (North Carolina State University), A revision of the American Hippocastanaceae.
1955Robert L. Wilbur (Duke University), The genus Sabatia.
1955Robert F. Thorne (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden), The vascular plants of southwestern Georgia.