This summer, Grusz Lab students Noah Olson and Blake Fauskee (class of 2019) will be representing the University of Minnesota Duluth as interns in the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. While working at NMNH, Olson and Fauskee will be contributing to a project exploring the evolutionary implications of apomixis in ferns. Specifically, they will leverage museum specimens from around the globe to examine the influence of asexuality on organismal diversity. This collaborative project has already yielded new insights into the evolution of reproductive mode in ferns—we look forward to gaining more insights through their hard work!
Following the summer internship, Fauskee (NSF-GRFP Fellow) will be joining the Department of Biology at Duke University to continue his studies of plant evolution. Olson hopes to pursue graduate studies focused on medicinal plant chemistry. Keep your eyes peeled for these up-and-coming botany super stars!