Current Spotlight

Chelsea Pretz
Chelsea Pretz
Graduate Student
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO)
University of Colorado, Boulder

 

Past Spotlights

Nina House
Nina House
Graduate Student
Department of Botany, California Botanic Garden (Claremont Graduate University)


Liming Cai
Liming Cai
Postdoctoral researcher
Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside

 

Natalia Contreras Ortiz
Natalia Contreras Ortiz
Graduate Student
Tropical Diversity at RBGE
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh RBGE and University of Edinburgh

 

Dustin Ray
Dustin M. Ray
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Plant Physiology
University of Minnesota, Duluth

 

Gilbert Kadeem
Kadeem J. Gilbert
Postdoctoral Fellow
Entomology
Pennsylvania State University

 

Sonal Gupta
Sonal Gupta
Graduate Student
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Michigan

BSA Spotlight Series Logo BSA Spotlight Series  


The BSA Spotlight Series, created and run by the BSA Student Social Media Liaisons, highlights early career scientists in the BSA community. Scientists' profiles are shared on all BSA social media platforms, Membership Matters, the BSA eNewsletter, and on this webpage.

The spotlight series shares both scientific goals and achievements, as well as personal interests of the botanical scientists, so you can get to know your BSA community better.

Are you an early career scientist, or do you know an early career scientist that we should highlight in our Spotlight Series? Click here to fill out a simple form. This opportunity is open to current early career BSA members, to learn more about becoming a BSA member click here.

Below is the most recent early career scientist Spotlight. To see more information on past Spotlights, use the menu to the left.


Chelsea Pretz
Graduate Student
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO)
University of Colorado, Boulder 
Posted 7-14-21

Twitter Handle @chelsea_pretz

Sapria himalayana (Rafflesiaceae)


Chelsea's general research interest is in the genus Physalis, which comprises the tomatillos, goldenberries, and groundcherries. She has worked on the nomenclature and typifications of the United States Physalis species. Currently she working with P. acutifolia (sharp-leaf groundcherry) to better understand the intraspecific breakdown of the gametophytic self-incompatibility system. She hopes that understanding gene flow on a species level will be a small step in understanding the evolutionary history of the genus.

How Chelsea got interested in the botanical sciences
Plants piqued Chelsea’s interest in high school and, with the help of her wonderful mentor, she started a garden. During her undergrad, she was exposed to the botanical field of research and started exploring it as a career route. As an undergrad, Chelsea participated in a couple of different REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) programs – one focusing on ecology and the other on plant pathogens. She was soon drawn to the massive field that is Botany with a special interest in evolution.

Chelsea’s advice for those just starting their botanical journey?
“No path is the same. There is value in trying something and learning you don’t like it. People are nicer than you think! Make sure you ask questions, get advice, and ask who else you should be talking to. If you don’t hear back from someone, reach out to someone else. While research can seem all-consuming, make sure to find time for your hobbies and loved ones.”

Liming Cai


Chelsea is passionate about connecting people with resources. Over the last couple of years, she has served on many committees that allow her to help her colleagues and friends in the field. She was a BSA Student Representative, departmental student representative, PlantingSceince liaison, and a co-founder of SOL Seminar Online. In her personal life, Chelsea loves traveling and learning about history through cooking different dishes. She enjoys gardening, and loves watching adult animation (Bob’s Burgers, Bless the Harts, and The Simpsons).