Richard and Minnie Windler Award: 2015 Recipients


Brian R. Keener

Additional Authors:


Dec 2015


Richard and Minnie Windler Award, award,

Systematics—Sabrina Y.S. Sewell and Wendy B. Zomlefer
Ecology—Katherine E. Culatta and Jonathan L. Horton

The Richard and Minnie Windler Award recognizes the authors of the best systematic botany paper published in Castanea during the previous year. For 2014, authors of two papers were selected as winners: Sabrina Y.S. Sewell and Wendy B. Zomlefer (Figure 1) for their work entitled ‘‘Floristics of Piedmont Gabbro Upland Depression Forests in Jasper County, Georgia’’ (Castanea 79:195–220) and Katherine E. Culatta (Figure 2) and Jonathan L. Horton (Figure 3) for their work entitled ‘‘Physiological Response of Southern Appalachian High-Elevation Rock Outcrop Herbs to Reduced Cloud Immersion’’ (Castanea 79:182–194).

Sewell and Zomlefer investigated the floristic diversity of a distinctive plant community known as the Piedmont Gabbro Upland Depression Forest. Over the course of this project, they did floristic studies on three study sites and documented 541 vascular plant species, including five species considered rare in the state of Georgia.

Sabrina Y.S. Sewell finished her M.S. in Biology at the University of Georgia in 2013. Wendy B. Zomlefer is an Associate Professor and Curator of the Herbarium at the University of Georgia. Her research focus includes plant systematics and taxonomy in the Melanthiaceae and floristic surveys in Georgia and neighboring states.

Culatta and Horton investigated physiological responses of rock outcrop specialists to changes in cloud immersion. In their experiment, they discovered some ability of their test species, cliff saxifrage and granite dome goldenrod, to adapt to changing climatic conditions, including less cloud immersion, a condition these plants may actually face in the future.

Katherine E. Culatta finished her B.S. in Biology at University of North Carolina Asheville in 2013. Jonathan L. Horton is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina Asheville where his research focuses on plant physiological ecology.

—Brian R. Keener,

Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences,
University of West Alabama,
Chair, Windler Award Committee 2015.