Several student members of the SER MWGL chapter were presented with awards on April 29th at this year’s virtual conference business meeting/awards ceremony.


Among those receiving awards was Alexa Wagner who won the the 2021 SER MWGL Student Restoration Research Grant, who won for her thesis research project: “Casting Light on Understory Plant Recruitment and Performance During Overstory Gap Creation in Northern Deciduous Forests.

The SER MWGL student research competitive grant has been awarded annually since 2014 to student members of SER MWGL for research projects conducted within the seven-state Midwest Great Lakes chapter area.  

Wagner is a PhD candidate at Case Western Reserve University and the Holden Arboretum.  Her research explores understory dynamics as a function of manage ent and restoration practices in a forest located at the Holden Arboretum. Ms. Wagner will receive $2000 to help fund her research. As a condition of her award, Ms. Wagner will the results of her research at a future MWGL Annual Chapter Meeting.

Wagner elaborates on her research, “I am currently researching how common management practices (e.g. canopy thinning and invasive species removal) influence rates of fruit dispersal, herbivory, and the productivity and survival of understory shrub/tree species in order to determine mechanisms responsible for plant recruitment and forest diversity. Ultimately, I hope to quantify how restoration efforts affect the health and resiliency of current and future forest communities, with the goal of parlaying this information into actionable science impacting the decisions of land-owners and practitioners.

Call for Next Grant Proposals Will Be Issued in Early 2022

Requests for proposals for the 2022 Student Restoration Research Grant,  and the separate Student Restoration Implementation Grant will be issued in February of 2022 and the winner will be announced at the chapter’s annual meeting in the spring of 2022 at the Acacia Reservation in Lyndhurst, Ohio.   Each grant will carry with it a cash award of up to $2000.

Awards for Oral and Poster Presentations

Other student award winners were announced during the SER MWGL business meeting/awards ceremony.  

Winning for Best Oral Presentation was Julia Brokaw of the University of Minnesota for her presentation on “Impacts of Prescribed Burns on the Nesting. Communities of Ground-Nesting. Bees in Tall Grass Prairies.”   Brokaw was presenting in her capacity as the the 2019 Student Restoration Research Grant award winner for her project:  “Maximizing the potential of prairie restoration and management for ground-nesting bees”, funded, in part, by that grant.

The award for Best Poster, went to Naomi Rushing, University of Minnesota for her work on “Latitude of seed source impacts fitness and flowering phenology in translocated plant populations.”