Research Grants

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Understanding how geography drives evolutionary processes in the campos rupestres

Project summary:

My goal is to understand phylogenetic relationships and diversity within the campos rupestres using Begonia Section Tetrachia Brade as a model group. Also, I plan on understanding diversification and niche evolution patterns for the species in this genus to elucidate whether campos rupestres acted as an interglacial refugium. Finally, I will use niche modelling analyses to assess if future climatic changes projected for the year 2080 will impact the future distribution of these species. Hopefully, this study will serve as an example to other floristic studies conducted in the campos rupestres.

Cost: $


Maria Beatriz de Souza Cortez

Highest degree:


Year obtained:


Applicant Status:

Current student

United States of America

Flowering plants

University of Florida

Relevant publications (minimum 1, maximum 4):

Cortez, M. B., Sforça, D. A., Alves, F. M., Vidal, J. D., Alves-Pereira, A., Mori, G. M., Andreotti, I. A., Nascimento, J. E., Bittrich, V., Zucchi, M. I., Amaral, M. C. E., Souza, A. P. (2019) Elucidating the species “complex” Clusia criuva: cryptic taxa can exhibit great genetic and geographic variation. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 190: 67 – 82.

Vidal, J. D., Cortez, M. B., Alves, F. M., Koehler, S., Souza, A. P., Koch, I. (2018) Development and cross-validation of microsatellite markers for Rauvolfia weddelliana Müll.Arg. (Apocynaceae) species complex. Brazilian Journal of Botany, 41(3): 681 – 686.

Hodel, R. G. J., Cortez, M. B. de S., Soltis, P. S., & Soltis, D. E. (2016). Comparative phylogeography of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) and red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) in Florida: Testing the maritime discontinuity in coastal plants. American Journal of Botany, 103(4): 1–10.

Soltis, D. E., Segovia-Salcedo, M. C., Jordon-Thaden, I., Majure, L., Miles, N. M., Mavrodiev, E. V., Mei, W., Cortez, M. B., Soltis, P. S. & Gitzendanner, M. A. (2014) Are polyploids really evolutionary dead-ends (again)? A critical reappraisal of Mayrose. New Phytologist, 202 (4): 1105 – 1117.

Referee 1:

Pamela S. Soltis

Referee 2:

Douglas E. Soltis

Scoring Rubric

Your name:

Scientific merit


1.  Contribution to novel methods for research in systematics and taxonomy and/or
     Building taxonomic capacity in developing countries

2.  Contribution to the generation of novel systematic data

3.  Quality and significance of questions being addressed

4.  Adequacy of methods for testing hypotheses (data collection/analysis/use of different tools)

This proposal scores:


IAPT community building


5.  Student's potential for professional success

6.  Perceived need; extent to which the project will benefit from IAPT funding

This proposal scores:


Broader Impacts


7.  The research will yield durable benefits (revisions, databases, websites)

8.  Potential of the proposed project to generate an impactful publication

9.  The proposed research involves outreach/mentoring and broad dissemination

This proposal scores:


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