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Green Thumbs Win Gold: Pam and Doug Soltis Receive Multiple Professional Awards

Romance is not the only thing that blooms between married research duo Doug and Pam Soltis. The careers of these two UF botanists are also flourishing. Over the past several months the team has received several international awards and honors.

Doug SoltisPam SoltisThey have been awarded the 2005 Stebbins Medal from the International Association of Plant Taxonomists for their book, "Phylogeny and Evolution of Angiosperms,” along with co-authors Peter Endress of the University of Zurich and Mark Chase of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England. The Stebbins Medal, named in honor of G. Ledyard Stebbins, is awarded for an outstanding publication in plant systematics and plant evolution.

They have also received a Centennial Award from the Botanical Society of America, along with David Dilcher of the Florida Museum of Natural History and Professor Emeritus of Botany William Stern. The Botanical Society of America, founded in 1906, established the Centennial Award to acknowledge and honor outstanding service to the plant sciences and the society.

Additionally, Doug and Pam Soltis have jointly received the Asa Gray Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. The award is the highest honor given by the society and was established to recognize outstanding scientists for their contributions to systematics research.

Pam recently began her term as President-Elect of the Botanical Society of America, after serving as secretary from 1997-2000. Doug was President of this same prestigious society from 1999-2001.

The couple, who came to UF in fall 2001 from Washington State University, are internationally recognized for their pioneering research on the phylogeny, evolution and classification of flowering plants. They have been leaders in exploring molecular data for restructuring flowering plant interrelationships and have contributed to the establishment of a new classification for flowering plants.

Doug, a botany professor, and Pam, a curator for the Florida Museum of Natural History, collaborate on research projects, co-advise students, and teach courses together. “We feel we do much better as a team than if we were working as individuals,” says Doug. “Being a scientist is more than a 9 to 5 job, it is also a hobby and full-time occupation. We can talk about and work on our research at all hours and not have to worry about boring of offending a spouse. We can also tag team on projects in the lab and when taking care of our children.”

In 2002, the couple was presented the 2002 Rolf M.T. Dahlgren Prize in Botany from the Royal Physiographic Society of Sweden for outstanding contributions to the field. They used the $11,150 award to foster their research and support students.



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