News & Events

Please join us for the annual Graduate Research Proposal Symposium

Please join the Department of Botany of Friday, April 7 in St John 007 for our annual Graduate Research Proposal Symposium. Coffee will be available starting at 12:30, and the first presentation is at 1:00 p.m. We have five students presenting this year, including Emily Grave, Tiffany Lum, Jerry Koko, Noweo Kai, and Tim Kroessig. Following the symposium, we will have a pau hana to celebrate our students.

Botany seminar with Dr. Camilo Mora, Thursday March 16th

Dr. Camilo Mora from the Mānoa geography department will be speaking at our botany seminar series at noon, this Thursday, March 16th, in St John 7. Dr. Mora will be presenting his talk titled, “We punch nature and it will punch us back: The feedbacks of climate change on people.” Please join us, Dr. Mora is an informative and engaging speaker.

Aleca Borsuk’s Botanical Research Featured in the Star Advertiser

Congratulations to Aleca Borsuk, an engineering major with a minor in botany, who was featured in the Star Advertiser today! Miss Borsuk is working on developing a way to grow nutritious leafy vegetables using energy efficient lighting, with limited space, and with faster than normal growth. This research is funded by Hawai‘i NASA Space Grant Consortium, aimed at developing new ways to produce food for astronauts traveling to Mars in an energy, space, and time efficient way. Borsuk says this research focuses on “squeezing every last inch of space and every last watt of electricity.” Working with Amaranthus caudatus, she developed a controlled growth environment that reduced self-shading within the plant canopies, resulting in increased irradiation for photosynthesis and more rapid development. Check out the full article here. Image thanks to the Star Advertiser.





Botany Seminar: The Flora of Samoa with Dr. Art Whistler

Welcome back to the Spring 2017 semester! We will kick off our Botany Seminar series with our first seminar of the semester on Thursday, January 19th, at noon in St. John room 7. Dr. Art Whistler will discuss the flora of Samoa. Dr. Whistler is a botanist whose field of expertise is the plants of the tropical Pacific islands, including Hawaii, the rest of Polynesia (including Samoa, Tonga, and Tahiti), Fiji, and Micronesia. As a consultant, he has worked on numerous botanical projects in the Pacific Islands, including Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Yap, Chuuk, Guam, and the Northern Marianas. Dr. Whistler has published numerous scientific articles about plants, as well as ten books, including Tropical Ornamentals: a Guide (2000, published by Timber Press), Plants in Samoan Culture (2001), Polynesian Herbal Medicine (1992), Tongan Herbal Medicine (1992), Samoan Herbal Medicine (1996), Flowers of the Pacific Island Seashore (1992), Rainforest trees of Samoa (2004), The Samoan Rainforest (2002) and Wayside Plants of the Islands (1995).

Botany Seminar December 1st: Dr. Albert Meier

Please join us for our final botany seminar of the semester on December 1st, 2016, from 12:00 to 1:00pm in St John 007. Our speaker, Dr. Albert Meier, Professor of Ecology at Western Kentucky University is giving a talk titled, “Seeing the Forest Herbs Despite the Trees.”

Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation Graduate Assistantship Opportunity in Botany

Hawaiʻi high school graduates with an interest in natural resource management, here is a graduate assistantship position for you!

“Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation ( and the College of Natural Sciences are pleased to announce the availability of one graduate assistantship for local students dedicated to careers in natural resource management in the state of Hawai‘i. The assistantship comes with generous support for two years (2nd year pending satisfactory academic performance), including a Graduate Assistantship ($20,472 plus fringe benefits – step 6), a full tuition remission, and additional funds to be used for attendance costs (e.g., books, fees, travel to local and national conferences, and supplies).”

For eligibility and application instructions please see the full announcement, here: Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation Graduate Assistantship

Nicole Hynson awarded a Germany Junior International Fellowship


Congratulations to Nicole Hynson on her award from the University of Bayreuth of the Germany Junior International Fellowship! With the award Dr. Hynson will develop a field biology course for undergraduates from Europe, and she will expand her collaboration with the University of Bayreuth in examining the ecology and biogeography of orchids and their symbiotic fungi. For more information, see the University of Hawaii System News announcement:


Botany assistant professor awarded international fellowship


Botany Seminar November 10th: Dr. Loren Rieseberg

Please join us for our third botany seminar of the semester on November 10th, 2016, from 12:00 to 1:00pm in St John 007. Our speaker, Dr. Loren Rieseberg, from the University of British Columbia is giving a talk titled, “On the Origins of Crops, Weeds, and Species in the Sunflower Genus, Helianthus.”

Botany Seminar: October 13th, Dr. Randy Thurman

Please join us for our second botany seminar of the semester on October 13th, 2016, from 12:00 to 1:00pm in St John 007. Our speaker, Dr. Randy Thaman, from the University of the South Pacific is giving a talk titled, “People, Plants and Pacific Futures: Community Based Biodiversity Conservation on the Frontline Against Global Change and the Loss of Biodiversity in the Pacific Islands.”

Former UH Botany graduate student wins plant conservation award at 2016 IUCN

Lauren Weisenberger, Oahu Army Natural Resource Program propagule mangement specialist, collects seeds from the endangered Chamaesyce herbstii plant.Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Weisenberger, a graduate of UH Botany’s PhD program, on being awarded the David Given Award for Excellence in Plant Conservation for her exceptional contributions to conservation of rare plants in Hawaiʻi! Dr. Weisenberger was presented with the global award on September 2, 2016 at the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) meeting, held in Honolulu. She is currently employed with the Oʻahu Army Natural Resources Program, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaiʻi.

UH Mānoa botanist wins global recognition for plant conservation

Fall 2016 Botany Seminars

Please join us on September 8th from 12-1pm in St. John 007 for our first Botany seminar of the new academic year! Dr. Heather Spalding (postdoctoral fellow, UHM Botany) will be giving a talk entitled “MESOPHOTIC MACROALGAE ACROSS THE HAWAIIAN ARCHIPELAGO: DECIPHERING THE DIVERSITY AND DISTRIBUTION OF DEEP LIMU”. See you there!

Local student interested in our MS program? Apply for a Hauoli Mau Loa Foundation GAship!

Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation, CNS, and SOEST are pleased to announce the availability of three graduate assistantships for local students dedicated to careers in natural resource management in the state of Hawai‘i. Download more information on our graduate application pages.

News from the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Bioblitz 2015

UHM Botany Endowed Scholarships, Fellowships, and Graduate Student Assistantship awards for 2015-2016

The UHM Department of Botany has awarded $115,600 of Endowed Scholarships, Fellowships, and Graduate Research Assistantships for 2015/2016 to the following Botany Undergraduate and Graduate students.


Beatrice Krauss Fellowship Fund in Botany
Matthew Bond
Dane Gonsalves
Georgia Hart
Ashley McGuigan
Gioconda Lopez Vargas

Isabella Aiona Abbott Endowed Undergraduate Botany Fund for Excellence
Coral Bielecki
Kayla Arthur

Torrey-Degener-Rock Scholarship Endowed Fund
Amy Hruska
Erin Datlof

Charles H. Lamoureux Fellowship in Plant

Conservation Fund
Joshua Hibit
Casey Jones

Winona Pi’ilani Char Scholarship
Nadia Stanis
Kari Bogner
Michael Coe
Emily Grave
Tressa Hoppe
Katie Lund
Coral Bielecki
Ho’oleia Kaeo

G. P. Wilder Endowed Graduate Research Assistantship
Kari Bogner
Erin Datlof
Emily Johnston
Rachael Wade

No new admissions to the BS in Ethnobotany degree program

  • Students declared in the BS Ethnobotany major will have until Spring 2020 to graduate.  No Ethnobotany degrees will be awarded in Summer 2020 or later. 
  • If students pursuing a degree in BS Ethnobotany do not graduate by Spring 2020, they will be changed over and subject to BS Botany (or BA Botany, if requested) major requirements.
  • Ethnobotany classes will continue to be offered
  • The Ethnobotany Minor will not be affected and will continue to be available.

Declared Ethnobotany majors: Please keep in mind that SHOULD you decide to change your major OUT of Ethnobotany after April 7, 2015, you will not be allowed redeclare Ethnobotany.

Download the Department of Botany Brochure here!


The University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly of Honolulu is honoring UH alumna, innovative researcher and UH educator Dr. Lani Stemmermann through a $204,000 pledge to create the Dr. Lani Stemmermann Endowed Fellowship. This endowment will support graduate students pursuing their Ph.D. degree in Botany, in the Department of Botany University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Natural Sciences.

UHPA scholarship in memory of Lani Stemmermann – Press Release