skip to main content

Awards and Achievements


Undergraduate Awards

Stamps Impact Award

Lindsay Ashton – Fall 2023 – Mentor: Dr. Yongjian Qiu

Audrey Koltz – Spring 2024 – Mentor: Dr. Michel Ohmer

Cadan Noonan – Spring 2024 – Mentor: Dr. Ryan Garrick

Anna Nowell – Spring 2024 – Mentor: Dr. Peter Zee

Truman Scholar Award

Christian Boudreaux

Taylor Medal  Award

Aubrey Bethay

Christopher Buss

Abby Carroll

Allison Dupree

Sreya Maddali

Victoria Mungan

John Suares

Walker Watters

Daniel Zuckerman

Neuroscience Poster Award

Carley Craig received 1st place in the Neuroscience Division at the Mississippi Academy of Science

Undergraduate Features and Publications

Simran Patel received recognition of the top 10% of undergraduate abstracts at Mississippi Academy of Science selected by MS INBRE

Graduate Students’ Degree Completion 2023- 2024

Emma Counce – MS, Fall 2023 – Advisor: Dr. Jason Hoeksema

Thuy Nguyen – Ph.D., Fall 2023 – Advisor: Dr. Erik Hom


Graduate Student Awards

Savannah Draud –  Ph.D., Placed 3rd for Best Oral Presentation at lll International Symposium of the Mycorrhizal Symbiosis in South America, Leticia, Colombia- August 28-20, 2023

Jessie Stamn – Ph.D., Placed 1st for Podium Presentation at the 2024 UM Graduate Student Council Research and Creative Achievement Symposium

Anita Shrestha – Ph.D., Placed 2nd for Pitch Talk at the 2024 UM Graduate Student Council Research and Creative Achievement Symposium

Neuroscience Graduate Student Talk Award

Mathew Thibodeaux – MS, – Advisor: Dr. Lainy Day

Backus Graduate Research Fellowship – Mycological Society of America

Ian Mounts – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Jason Hoeksema

Phytologist Innovations Grant – $2,500

Ian Mounts – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Jason Hoeksema

McRight Scholarship – $1,900

Molood Farsi – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Josh Bloomekatz

Dikshya Niraula – MS, – Advisor: Dr. Sarah Liljegren

Sampada Timilsina – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Yongjian Qiu

Cockerham Scholarship – $2,000

Sara Lucia Morales Anaya – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Michel Ohmer

Berry Dickey – MS, – Advisor: Dr. Yongjian Qiu

Anita Shrestha – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Sarah Liljegren

Doctors Wong-Bridges Scholarship – $1,500

Saroj Nepal – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Brad Jones

Georgia St. Amand Laboratory Teaching Scholarship – $1,500

Jakub Zegar – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Michel Ohmer

Reginald P. Ott Scholarship – $1,000

Maria Peña – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Gregg Roman

William B. Keith Memorial Scholarship – $1,000

Tahmina Akter – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Sixue Chen

Scholarship for Advancements in STEM

Ana Luisa Kirsten da Silva – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Becks Prescott

Academic Excellence Fellowship

Eli Johnson – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Patrick Curtis

Graduate School Summer Graduate Research Assistantship

Anurag Rijal – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Patrick Curtis

Graduate Student Achievement Award

Rabina Shrestha – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Josh Bloomekatz

CETL Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

Jakub Zegar – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Michel Ohmer

SREB Dissertation Fellowship

Savannah Draud – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Jason Hoeksema

SEC Emerging Scholar

Ian Mounts – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Jason Hoeksema

Graduate School Fall Dissertation Fellowship

Gayatri Sharma – Ph.D., – Advisor: Dr. Patrick Curtis

Graduate Student Features and Publications

Sharma G, Zee PC, Zea L, Curtis PD (2023) Whole genome-scale assessment of gene fitness of Novosphingobium aromaticavorans during spaceflight. BMC Genomics 24(1), 782. doi: 10.1186/s12864-023-09799-z.

Akacia Halliday – Ph.D., Selected as a finalist in the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship:

Kayleigh Mazariegos – Ph.D., featured in the University of Mississippi News for her work research in sounds of marine life living near reefs:


Faculty Awards

Dr. Carla Carr – 2024 $400 Human Anatomy and Physiology Society Conference Travel Award

Dr. Beckie Symula –  2024 University of Mississippi Diversity Innovator Award

Dr. Beckie Symula – 2024 IHL Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award

Faculty Features and Publications

Dr. Josh Schmerge presented “Phylogenetic hypotheses for the occurrence of mandibular grooves in theropod dinosaurs and implications for the controversial Cretaceous taxon Nanotyrannus” on Monday, September 11, 2023 at the University of Mississippi Department of Geology and Geological Engineering.

Dr. Carol Britson published two articles in HAPS Educator: 

  •  Britson CA, Kule C, Hopp R, Clark JE, Armbruster H, Anako C, Schmitz JM, Huffman J, Chapman M, Schmaeman C, Dennis J, and Ahles K (2023). HAPS Curriculum & Instruction 2022 Laboratory Survey: Demographics of Respondents, Institutions, and Students. HAPS Educator Vol 27 (2), pp. 36-49.

  • Britson CA, Clark JE, Anako C, Hopp R, Armbruster H, Kule C, Schmitz JM, Huffman J, Chapman M, Schmaeman C, Dennis J, and Ahles K (2023). HAPS Curriculum & Instruction 2022 Laboratory Survey: Laboratory Activities and Learning Outcomes. HAPS Educator Vol 27 (2), pp. 50-69.

Dr. Sharday Ewell published “A Comparison of Study Behaviors and Metacognitive Evaluation Used by Biology Students” in CBE – Life Sciences Education online Vol. 22, No.4

Dr. Becks Prescott published “Metabolic Versatility of Caldarchaeales from geothermal features of Hawaiʻi and Chile as revealed by five metagenome-assembled genomes in Frontiers in Microbiology on September 20, 2023 Sec Extreme Microbiology Vol. 14 –

Dr. Becks Prescott:  Chan YL, Tong EJ, Bunn F, Onouye CT, Handel C, Lo CC, Davenport K, Johson S, Flynn M, Saito JA, Lee H Jr, Wong K, Lawson BN, Hiura K, Sager K, Sadones M, Hill EC, Esibill D, Cockell CS, Santomartino R, Chain PSG, Decho AW, Donachie SP. (2023) Bridging Place- Based Astobiology Education with Genomics, Including Descriptions of Three Novel Bacterial Species Isolated from Mars Analog Sites of Cultural Relevance. Astrobiology 23(12), 1348-1367. doi: 10.1089/ast.2023.0072. Epub 2023 Dec 11. PMID: 38079228.

Dr. Timothy Menzel shared his expertise on fire ants during his interview with WTVA News that was broadcast on Monday, December 18, 2023 –

Dr. Richard Buchholz appeared on Wild Turkey Science podcast that was broadcast March 4, 2024

Dr. Richard Buchholz:  Zhao M, Kurtis SM, Humbel EA, Griffith EV, Liu T, Braun EL, Buchholz R, Kimball RT. (2024) Bare parts in the Galliformes: the evolution of a multifunctional structure. Royal Society Open Science 11(1), 231695. doi: 10.1098/rsos.231695.

Dr. Sixue Chen:

  • Perron, N., Kirst, M., and Chen, S. (2024). Bringing CAM photosynthesis to the table: Paving the way for resilient and productive agricultural systems in a changing climate. Plant Communications 5, 100772 (14 printed pages).
  • Yoo, M-J., Koh, J., Boatwright, L., Soltis, D.E., Soltis, P.S., Barbazuk, W.B., Chen, S. (2024) Investigation of regulatory divergence between homoeologs in the recently formed allopolyploids, Tragopogon mirus and T. miscellus (Asteraceae). The Plant Journal 117, 1191–1205.
  • Kong, L., Ma, X., Zhang, C., Kim, S., Li, B., Xie, Y., Yeo, I., Thapa, H., Chen, S., Devarenne, T.P., Munnik, T., He, P., Shan, L. (2024) Dual phosphorylation of DGK5-mediated PA burst regulates ROS in plant immunity. CELL S0092-8674(23)01404-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2023.12.030.

Dr. Wayne Gray authored “Insertion of foreign genes into the simian varicella virus genome by Tn7-mediated site-specific transposition” published in Journal of Virological Methods (2024). Insertion of foreign genes into the simian varicella virus genome by Tn7-mediated site-specific transposition – ScienceDirect

Dr. Lainy Day:

  • Lucas West and Lainy B. Day (2024) Abnormal Feather Phenotype Associated with a Fatal Stress Response and Unusual Tolerance to Human Contact in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia castanotis)” Comparative Medicine. In Press
  • Fuxjager MJ, Ryder TB, Moody NM, Alfonso C, Balakrishnan CN, Barske J, Bosholn M, Boyle WA, Braun EL, Chiver I, Dakin R, Day LB, ….Schlinger BA (24 total authors). Systems biology as a framework to understand the physiological and endocrine bases of behavior and its evolution-From concepts to a case study in birds. Hormones and Behavior, 151:105340. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2023.105340

Faculty Grants

AAUW Research Publication Grant in Engineering, Medicine, and Science $35,000

Ísis da Costa Arantes

Faculty Promotions



Post Doctorate Features and Publications

Thuy Nguyen:  Nguyen TM, Pombubpa N, Huntemann M, Clum A, Foster B, Foster B, Roux S, Palaniappan K, Varghese N, Mukherjee S, Reddy TBK, Daum C, Copeland A, Chen I-MA, Ivanova NN, Kyrpides NC, Harmon-Smith M, Eloe-Fadrosh EA, Pietrasiak N, Stajich JE, Hom EFY. (2024) Metatranscriptomes of two biological soil crust types from the Mojave desert in response to wetting. Microbiology Resource Announcements 2024 Feb 15;13(2):e0108023. doi: 10.1128/mra.01080-23.

Qijie Guan: Guan, Q., Kong, W., Tan, B., Zhu, W., Akter, T., Li, J., Tian, J., and Chen, S. (2024). Multiomics unravels potential molecular switches in the C3 to CAM transition of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. Journal of Proteomics, 105145 (15 printed pages).

Staff Awards



August 30, 2023 Coffee and Donuts Welcome Back 7:30am – 9:30am

October 14, 2023 BGSS Sponsored Plant Walk  10am

October 31, 2023 Halloween Open House 12pm – 3pm

Research and Welcome Mixer




Awards and Achievements Archives