Congratulations to Daniel Hayes
Recipient of the 2018 ASPT Undergraduate Research Prize
The American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) has selected Daniel Hayes, a recent graduate of Bucknell University, as its 2018 Undergraduate Research Prize (URP) recipient. The prize is considered the society’s most prestigious recognition of undergraduate achievement. The URP has been presented annually at the international Botany conference since 2015 for outstanding, independent research projects in plant systematics completed within the last two years.
Hayes was selected for this year’s URP based on his senior honors thesis project, titled “Ex situ interspecies crossing rates infer importance of geographic barriers in speciation among closely related Solanum species of the Australian Monsoon Tropics.” The project tested species boundaries among 16 northern Australian nightshade species through the execution of more than 4400 hand-pollinations, followed by assessment of fruit and seed set. Conducted over nearly two years, the work was co-advised by Drs. Chris Martine, Angela McDonnell, and Jason Cantley, and makes a significant contribution to the understanding of plant evolution and diversification in Australia.
In his support letter for Hayes, Martine noted that the prize winner has presented numerous times at conferences and symposia, is a coauthor on at least three upcoming papers, and has played a critical role in establishing an Integrated Pest Management strategy for Bucknell’s research greenhouses — all while working a part-time job and training to become an EMT.
A native of Mifflinburg, PA, Hayes recently took the MCAT and is currently applying to medical schools. He received the URP at the Botany 2018 conference in Rochester, MN, where he also presented a talk on his award-winning research.