DR. KATHERINE ESAU will be remembered by countless students as the author of Plant Anatomy and Anatomy of Seed Plants, which are among the most influential textbooks in structural botany the second half of the last century. In 1957, Dr. Esau became the sixth woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1989, she was awarded the National Medal of Science by President George Bush. This award was established in 1985 with a gift from Dr. Esau and is augmented by ongoing contributions. It is given to the graduate student who presents the outstanding paper in developmental and structural botany at the annual meeting.The Esau award distributes $500 in years where the award is given.
In Remembrance of Dr. Katherine Esau
2023 - Yesenia Madrigal, Universidad de Antioquia, For the Presentation: Assessment of the flowering genetic regulatory network in tropical orchids with different lifeforms. Co-authors: Michael Scanlon, Marian Bemer, Lena Hileman, Natalia Pabón-Mora
2022 - Heather Phillips, Cornell University, For the Presentation: To Fuse or not to Fuse: Investigating the Evolution and Development of Floral Fusion in the Zingiberales. Co-authors: Jacob Landis, Chelsea Specht
2021 - Molly B. Edwards, Harvard University, For the Presentation: A developmental a transcriptional framework for pollinator-driven evolutionary transitions in petal spur morphology in Aquilegia (columbine). Co-authors: Evangeline S. Ballerini, and Elena M. Kramer
2020 - Cecilia Zumajo, New York Botanical Garden and CUNY, For the Presentation: Evolution of the seed coat. Co-authors: Dennis Stevenson and Barbara Ambrose
2019 - Joyce Chery, University of California-Berkeley, for the presentation: Evolution of strange wood development in a large group of neotropical lianas, Paullinia (Sapindaceae) Co-authors: Marcelo Pace, Pedro Acevedo-Rodriguez, Carl Rothfels, Chelsea Specht
2018 - Ya Min, Harvard University, for the presentation: Sweet genes are made of STYLISH – Members of the STYLISH gene family control both style and nectary development in Ranunculids. Co-authors: Imani Bunn and Elena Kramer.
2017 - Monica Carvalho, from the Cornell University, for the paper “Leaf hydraulic architecture of Populus and Ginkgo” Co-author: Karl Niklas.
2016 - Dustin Ray, from the University of Connecticut, for the paper “Conduit packing and allometric scaling of tissues in petioles.” Co-author: Cynthia Jones.
2015 - Kelsey Galimba, from the University of Washington, for the paper “Duplication and Divergence of the Floral Organ Identity Genes.” Co-authors: Jesús Martínez-Gomez and Veronica Di Stilio.
2014 - Rebecca Povilus, from Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
For the paper “Pre-fertilization reproductive development and floral biology in the remarkable water lily, Nymphaea thermarum.” Co-authors: Juan M Losada and William E Friedman.
2013 - Luke Nikolov, from Harvard University
For the paper “Developmental origins of the world’s largest flowers.” Co-authors: Peter Endress, M Sugumaran, Sawitree Sasirat, Suyanee Vessabutr, Elena Kramer and Charles Davis .
2012 - Christina Lord, from Dalhousie University, Advisor, Arunika Gunawardena
For the paper “Actin microfilaments: key regulators of programmed cell death (PCD) in the lace plant.” Co-authors: Adrian Dauphinee and Arunika Gunawardena .
2011 - Natalia Pabon-Mora, from New York Botanical Garden, Advisor, Amy Litt
For the paper “Functional redundancy of non-core eudicot FUL-like paralogs in regulating flowering time and petal development..” Co-author: Amy Litt.
Honorable Mention - Chi-Chih Wu, University Of Colorado Boulder, Advisor, Pamela Diggle
For the paper "The impact of the lower genetic relatedness of endosperm to its compatriot embryo on maize seed development." Co-authors were Pamela Diggle and William Friedman.
2010 - Jessica Budke, University of Connecticut
For the paper “Beneath the Calyptra’s Veil: Exploring Cuticle Anatomy during Moss Sporophyte Development.” Co-authors were Bernard Goffinet and Cynthia S. Jones.
Honorable Mention - Chunmiao Feng, North Carolina State University
or the paper "Evolutionary developmental study of inflorescence in Cornus." Co-authors were Robert G. Franks and Qiu-Yun (Jenny) Xiang.
2009 - Brett A. Bergman, California State Polytechnic University
For the paper “Effect of Leaf Nodes on the Mechanical Properties of Stems.” His co-authors were Frank W. Ewers and Edward Bobich.
2008 - Alana Oldham, Humboldt State University
For her paper “Height-Associated Variation in Sequoia sempervirens (Coast Redwood) Leaf Anatomy: Potential Impacts on Whole-Tree Carbon Balance.” Her co-authors were Stephen Sillett and George Koch.
2007 - Mackenzie Taylor, University of Tennessee
For her paper “Fertilization timing and the pollen tube pathway in Cabombaceae (Nymphaeales).” Her co-author was Joseph H. Williams.
2006 - Brigitte Marazzi, University of Zurich
For for her paper “Evolution of floral diversity in the buzz-pollinated genus Senna (Leguminosae, Cassiinae).” Co-authors were Elena Conti and Peter K. Endress.
2005 - Heather Sanders, Ohio University
For for her paper “Developmental genetics, the fossil record, and the evolution of plant form.” Co-authors were Gar W. Rothwell, and Sarah Wyatt.
2004 - Athena McKown, University of Toronto
For for her paper “Evolution of kranz anamomy in the genus Flaveria (Asteraceae).” Her co-authors were Jean-Marc Moncalvo and Nancy Dengler.
2003 - Wanda Kelly, University of Maryland, College Park
For her paper "Geometrical relationships specifying the phyllotactic pattern of aquaticplants." Her co-author was Todd Cooke.
2001 - Steven Jansen, Institute of Botany and Microbiology, K.U. Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg
For his paper "Vestured pits: a wood anatomical character with strong phylogenetic signals at high taxonomic levels." Co-authors were Pieter Baas and Erik Smets.
2000 - Christopher Meloche, University of Colorado
For his talk, co-authored with Pamela Diggle and entitled, "Patterns of carbon allocation in Acomstylis rossii (Rosaceae), an alpine plant exhibiting extreme preformation."
1998 - Amber Moody, University of Colorado
For her presentation "Architectural and developmental analysis of the vegetative propagule of Mimulus gemmiparus (Scrophulariaceae)" that was co-authored with Pamela K. Diggle and David A. Steingraber.
1997 - Andrew N. Doust, University of Melbourne
For his talk "Variability and pattern in the flowers of the Winteraceae (Magnoliidae)."
1996 - Kenneth M. Cameron, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
For his talk entitled "Foliar architecture of the reticulate-veined vanilloid orchids."
1995 - C. John Runions from the University of Victoria
For the paper entitled "Pollen scavenging in spruce and evolution of the conifer pollination drop." Co-author was John N. Owens.
1993 - Stuart F. Baum, University of California, Davis
For his paper co-authored by Thomas L. Rost and entitled, "Analysis of Arabidopsis root development."
1992 - Monica M. Sanwo, University of California, Riverside
For her paper co-authored by Darleen A. DeMason and entitled, "The role of the scutellum and aleurone in alpha-amylase production in high-sugar (sh2 and su se) sweet corn cultivars of Zea mays L.."
1991 - Andrew W. Douglas
For his paper co-authored by Shirley Tucker entitled 'The underlying spatial and temporal components in the ontogenies of nectariferous tissues of Proteaceae."
1990 - Carlos Perez-Munoz, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, University of California, Davis
For for his paper (with Barbara Webster), "Microtubules and exine wall pattern form in Vigna vexillata L."
1989 - Jeffrey P. Hill, University of California, Riverside
For his paper, "Changes in reproductive development associated with the evolution of self-pollination in Arenaria uniflora."
1988 - Cynthia S. Jones, University of California, Berkeley
For her paper, "Positional influences on leaf development in a wild and cultivated Cucurbita species."