How to Apply

The Garden Club of America funds 29 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas of research. GCA’s Anne S. Chatham Fellowship in Medicinal Botany provides at least one grant award of $4,500 annually to support research related to medicinal plants. An important aspect of the award is that it is intended to enable a student to pursue an avenue of research that might otherwise prove closed. Accordingly, the funds may be used to cover direct costs associated with travel, field studies, or laboratory research. However, fellowship funds may not be used to cover indirect costs or overhead and should not be used to pay for lab space or supplies normally provided by universities.

The fellowship is administered by the Missouri Botanical Garden. Selection is by a panel of botanists appointed by the Missouri Botanical Garden and is approved by the GCA Scholarship Committee. PLEASE NOTE: ONLY ONE GCA SCHOLARSHIP, FELLOWSHIP OR AWARD MAY BE APPLIED FOR ANNUALLY.  Eligibility is open to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a U.S. - based institution.

Please submit the following:

  • a brief application letter
  • an abstract of 200 words or less
  • a one- to two-page research proposal, set in 12 pt type (proposals should be detailed and will be treated as confidential; proposals longer than two pages will be considered ineligible)
  • a one-page budget that explains how funds would be used
  • a current curriculum vitae
  • for graduate students, a letter from a major advisor certifying enrollment in a PhD program
  • copies of permits for field work or studies including animals, research clearances, and permission from governmental agencies for foreign research (if permits are being applied for but have not yet been obtained, please ensure that the proposal explains the situation)

Proposals must be received by January 31.

Email applications to
or mail applications to:

Dr. Wendy Applequist
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
Saint Louis, MO 63110 USA

Additional information may be obtained by contacting Dr. Applequist at the address or email above.


Anne S. Chatham Fellows

1998 – Michael B. Thomas, University of Florida "The Use of Medicinal Plants of the Pataxó of Bahia, Brazil"

1999 – Joseph Cahill, University of California, Riverside "Medicinal Uses of Mexican Species of Salvia"

1999 – Alfredo Gomez-Beloz, New York Botanical Garden "Ethnobotany of the Warao Indians, Orinoco Delta, Venezuela"

2000 – Michael B. Casaus, Cornell University "An Ethnobotanical Investigation of the Tarahumara Indians of the Northern Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico"

2000 – Steven J. Casper, Washington University "Antimalarial Plants of Northern Peru"

2001 – David N. Cozzo, University of Georgia "Ethnobotany of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians"

2001 – Frederic Souret, Worcester Polytechnic Institute "Regulatory Controle of Mevalonate and Mevalonate Independent Terpenoid Biosynthetic Pathways Leading to the Production of Artemisinin, an Antimalarial Sesquiterpene, Using Artemisia annua L. Hairy Roots as a Plant Model"

2002 – Colin A. Young, University of Connecticut "A Quantitative and Comparative Analysis of the Ethnobotany of Belizean Creoles and Garifuna"

2002 – Kristine M. Stewart, Pampano Beach, FL "Population Viability Analysis of the Grapple Plant, Harpagophytum procumbens, in Harvested Environments"

2003 – Patricia A. Houle, Florida International University "Variations of Fatty Acids in the Fruits of Saw Palmetto Populations in Florida"

2003 – Ryan J. Case, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois-Chicago "Medicinal Plants of Papua New Guinea"

2004 – Wayne Law, Washington University "Human Harvesting Effects on Snow Lotus (Saussurea laniceps and S. medusa)"

2004 – Kevin D. Pittle, Florida State University "Continuity and Change in the Herbal Healing Traditions of the Middle East" 

2005 – Ramona J. Butz, University of California, Davis "Maasai Traditional Fire Management: Ethnobotany Conservation and Pastoralism in Tanzania"

2005 – Jocelyn Muller, Tufts University "Preserving Knowledge and Habitat: Zarma Ethnoecology in Niger’s Parc du W."

2006 – John R.S. Tabuti, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda "Herbal Medicines for the Treatment of Malaria in Kamuli District, Uganda"

2006 – Samantha Gerlach, Tulane University "Characterization and Bioactivity of Cyclotides in Psychotria leptothyrsa Miq. (Rubiaceae)"

2007 – Cassandra L. Quave, Florida International University “Anti-pathogenic Activity of Natural Products from Italian Medicinal Plants against MRSA”

2007 – Jillian De Gezelle, New York Botanical Garden “Phytoestrogens and the Treatment of Estrogen-related Conditions among the Maya”

2007 – Katherine L. Higgins, University of Utah “Tropical Fungal Endophytes as Sources of Novel Bioactive Compounds”

2008– Lisa Offringa, City University of New York “Medicinal Plants of Northern Thailand Used to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease”

2008– Selena Ahmed, New York Botanical Garden “Biodiversity and Management of Tea Production Systems in Yunnan, China”

2009– Melissa Islam, University of Colorado, Boulder “Tracing the Evolutionary History of Coca (Erythroxylum) and Origin of Cocaine Synthesis”

2010– Wesley Beaulieu, Indiana University “Morning Glories and Ergot Alkaloids”

2010– Rachel Meyer, City University of New York “Discovery and Regulation of Phenolic Compounds Found in Asian Heirloom Eggplant Varieties and Wild Relatives”

2011– Angelle L. Bullard-Roberts, New York Botanical Garden “The Relationship Between the Knowledge of Traditional Plant Remedies and the Valuation of Plant Diversity in Trinidad and Tobago”

2011– Narel Y. Paniagua Zambrana, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid “Diversity, Usage Patterns and Socioeconomic Value of Palm Species Used for Medicine and Nutrition in Tropical Forests of Peru and Bolivia”

2011– Jeff Boutain, University of Hawai'i at Manoa “On the Origin of Hops: Genetic Variability, Phylogenetic Relationships, and Ecological Plasticity of Humulus (Cannabaceae)”

2012– Valentin Barca, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Traditional ethnobotanical knowledge of Vlach (Aromanian) populations in the southern Balkan peninsula”

2012– Colleen Lindsay, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign “Utilization of useful plants in forest gardens by the Classic Maya of Yalbec, Belize”

2012– Joshua Kellogg, North Carolina State University “Analysis and antimalarial efficacy of non-Amazon Ecuadorian ethnobotanical leads”

2012– Ripu Mardhan Kunwar, Tribhuvan University “Diversity and use of medicinal plants of far-west Nepal in elevational and changing climate gradients”

2013- Christopher Kitalong, City University of New York, “Ethnobotany and pharmacology of Phaleria nisidai

2013 - Robbie Hart, University of Missouri–St. Louis, “A comparative ethnobotany of rhododendrons in northwest Yunnan, China”

2013 - Abdolbaset Ghorbani Dahaneh, Uppsala University,  “Development of a next-generation sequencing molecular identification system to curb the illegal trade in orchid tubers (Orchidacee: Orchidoideae) on the medicinal product salep in Iran”

2014 - Brittany Graf, Rutgers University, “Investigation of Ecuadorian food crops as candidates for nutraceutical development using field-deployable and laboratory-based bioassays”

2014 - Natalie Christian, Indiana University, “Harnessing natural antimicrobial properties of plants’ fungal partners”

2014 - Terry Lopez, University of California, Irvine, “Identifying the mechanism of action and active components of Rhodiola rosea

2015 - Matthew O. Bond, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa .“Intraspecific medicinal plant selection in North Malaita, Solomon Islands.” 

2015 - Tristesse Burton, University of Illinois at Chicago “Bioassay-guided fractionation and medical ethnobotany of American Indian botanicals for the benefit of women’s health.”

2016 - Chase Mason, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University “Characterizing salicylate, flavonoid, and phenolic diversity across the wild willows (genus Salix).” 

2016 - Danielle Allevato, Cornell University “Evolution of phytochemical diversity in Pilocarpus (Rutaceae) using a combined phylogenetic and environmental analysis.”

2016 - Amy Snively-Martinez, Washington State University “Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by rural communities in Guatemala to treat diabetes.”  

2018 - Katherine Farley, Washington University in St. Louis, “An ethnographic study of medicinal plant gatherers and growers in post-coal Appalachia.”

2018 - Amanda Thiel, Washington State University, “Cultural values and ethnobotanical medical knowledge in Maya Guatemala.”

2018 - Grady Zuiderveen, Pennsylvania State University, “The genetics of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) in Pennsylvania: Guidance for forest farming and cultivation.”

2019 - Lekeah Durden, Indiana University, “Development of laboratory-based bioassays to detect fungal symbiosis in Ipomoea tricolor.”

2019 - Harna Patel, Rutgers University, “Novel applications of kombo butter (Pcynanthus angolensis) and its bioactive constituents for human skin health.”

2019 ­- Kate Sammons, University of Minnesota, “Effect of ploidy and genotype on chemotype in the Achillea millefolium L. complex.”

2020 - Naya Jones, University of Santa Cruz, "On the move: African-American medicinal botany and the Great Migration."

2020 - Ella Thomas Vardeman, City University New York and New York Botanical Garden, "Bioactivity and chemotaxonomy of plants used by Haitian immigrants for women's health."

2020 - Sasha Nealand, University of Hawaii at Hilo, "Anti-mycobacterial terpenoids of the California native plant Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla."