Georgia Southern biology major receives grant for research

Tori Collins

A student of the biology department was awarded the Georgia Botanical Society Marie Mellinger Research Grant of $800 for her research on the evolution of staminodes in Paronychia flowering plants.

Andrea Appleton is a second year biology major who loves plants. She takes interest in studying the evolution history and reproductive development of staminodes in Paronychia plants.

“I’ve always kind of grew up around plants and animals,” Appleton said. “ I really like plant systematics so I’m looking  to go to grad school after this.”

The closest population of species Appleton uses for her research comes from George L. Smith State Park.

“We go out and collect the flowers during the summer winter flowering then we pickle them,” Appleton said. “To actually look at the development we use scanning electron microscopy.”

Appleton receives guidance on her research from John Schenk an Assistant Professor of the Biology Department.

“Andrea has been working in my lab for over a year now and is a very talented researcher who has a bright future ahead of her. I felt very proud of her accomplishment,” Schenk said. “The grant was externally funded, meaning that she had to compete against other scientists throughout the region, not just Georgia Southern students, to be funded.”  

Although Appleton received a grant, her research is not yet complete. There are plans of traveling to Panhandle Florida this summer to further her research on Paronychia plants.

Tori Collins, The George-Anne Daily Reporter,