The William L. Brown Award for Excellence in Plant Genetic Resources Conservation

The William L. Brown Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of an individual in the field of genetic resource conservation and use. It is administered by the William L. Brown Center (WLBC) at the Missouri Botanical Garden and is made possible through a generous endowment from the Sehgal Family Foundation, in cooperation with the family of Dr. Brown.

Bill Brown was a distinguished, internationally recognized scientist, businessman, and humanitarian. Over the course of five decades, he devoted himself to the collection, preservation, understanding, and sharing of plant genetic resources in order to help meet the global demand for food. The William L. Brown Award recognizes an individual whose efforts and achievements reflect a concern for those issues that were so important to Dr. Brown. 

William L. Brown Award Recipients

2021 Gary Paul Nabhan

2016 David Spooner

2014 Cary Fowler

2010 Peter H. Raven

2008 Nancy Turner

2006 Gordon Cragg

2004 Henry L. Shands

2002 Calvin O. Qualset

2000 Carlos Ochoa


Anne S. Chatham Fellowship

The Garden Club of America is pleased to announce a fellowship open to PhD candidates and recent PhDs to promote the study of medicinal botany. The fellowship was established to protect and preserve knowledge about the medicinal use of plants, and thus prevent the disappearance of plants with therapeutic potential. Providing this research opportunity for botanists can, in turn, assist medical science in its ability to protect lives, alleviate suffering, and develop new medicines. The fellowship was created and endowed by a generous contribution from Anne S. Chatham, a member of the Garden Club of America's Scholarship Committee, and a member of the Jupiter Island Garden Club.

Directions on how to apply, and list of fellows 


William L. Brown Fellowship

The William L. Brown Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden invites applications from qualified, highly motivated students for the William L. Brown Fellowship. This fellowship supports graduate study in some aspect of ethnobotany, economic botany or plant genetic resources. Successful applicants will receive stipend and tuition support for 5 years of study towards a Ph.D., as well as access to seed funds to accelerate research.

The William L. Brown Center is dedicated to the study of useful plants, understanding the relationships between humans, plants, and their environment, the conservation of plant species, and the preservation of traditional knowledge for the benefit of future generations. The purpose of the William L. Brown Fellowship is to educate scholars who will become active researchers and decision-makers in these topics, and who have the potential after graduation to effect these goals in communities or world regions of need.

The Missouri Botanical Garden offers a broad-based program of graduate studies in botany in cooperation with Washington University, St. Louis University, and University of Missouri-St. Louis; and has a long-standing engagement with the Washington University in St. Louis Department of Anthropology on topics in ethnobiology. Students apply to and enroll at one of these universities and complete the degree requirements of that school, but have full access to the staff, facilities, laboratory, and research opportunities available at the Garden. The exceptional faculties and programs at these universities in plant systematics, population biology and genetics, ecology, molecular biology, and paleoethnobiology, combined with the excellent herbarium, library, greenhouse facilities, and research staff at the Garden, make this a unique and stimulating graduate program.

Consideration as a William L. Brown Fellow is dependent on admission to one of the associated University graduate programs, which will be offered in consultation with a committee at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Interested students should apply directly to one or more of the affiliated universities, and send: 1) a copy of their applications and 2) a one-page essay on their research interests and career goals, demonstrating strong scientific and leadership potential, to Dr. Robbie Hart ( We encourage applications from international students and students from groups under-represented in science.

Research mentors may include (but are not limited to) WLBC scientists Dr. Wendy Applequist, Dr. Robbie Hart, Dr. Armand Randrianasolo, Dr. Emily Warschefsky  and affiliated scientists Dr. Allison Miller, Dr. Natalie Mueller, and Dr. Xinyi Liu. Applicants are encouraged to contact graduate faculty at the university to which they apply to find appropriate matches with their own research plans. 
WLB Fellowship applications are due by 14 December 2021. Please note that university application deadlines may fall before this date, and that early applications are appreciated.

Applications for Washington University:
Graduate Program in Evolutionary and Population Biology
Graduate Program in Anthropology

Applications for University of Missouri-St. Louis: 
Biology Department homepage

Applications for Saint Louis University:
Graduate Program in Biology


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