Charles Boissavy ’22, a biology major and physics minor, is one of 25 outstanding graduates in the country to receive special recognition from the Botanical Society of America with a 2022 Young Botanist Award.
Nominees are selected based on their research accomplishments and recommendation from a faculty advisor. The award comes with a certificate of special achievement, complimentary student membership in the Botanical Society of America, and recognition in the Plant Science Bulletin.
This summer, Boissavy will present his research on Phacelia, also known as scorpion weed, in collaboration with Longman Professor of Biology Mike Moore.
“I plan to use this opportunity to learn more about the kind of research I can do while making connections with the botanical sciences community,” says Boissavy, a resident of Los Angeles.
Boissavy’s research involves understanding the evolution of plants that grow on unusual soils—in this case, gypsum—in the scorpionweeds, which is a large group of flowering plants in western North America. He has discovered that all of the species that grow only on gypsum are part of a single diverse group within the genus, and may have discovered a yet undescribed species.
In addition to working in Moore’s plant systematics lab, Boissavy helped analyze element concentrations in soil samples from Cuba with Associate Professor of Geosciences Amanda Schmidt. As part of his post-graduate plans, Boissavy intends to continue doing research in plant evolution.
“To me, the Young Botanist Award reflects the hard work I’ve put into my research and gives me confidence that I have a future in the botanical sciences,” Boisaavy says. “Getting this award also fuels me with inspiration and motivation to keep following my passion of working in botany.”
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