Pamela S. Soltis, Distinguished Professor and Curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History, has been selected as the 2021-22 Teacher/Scholar of the Year at the University of Florida.
UF’s most prestigious and longest-running faculty award, the recognition offers an honorarium of $6,000 in addition to other recognitions. In selecting the recipient, the award committee chooses a faculty member who demonstrates distinguished achievement in teaching and scholarly activity, as evidenced by scholarly research, creative writing, original artwork , etc., and visibility within and beyond the university.
Soltis, director of the UF Biodiversity Institute, is a botanist whose primary research focuses on plant diversity and evolution. She is widely known for her recognition of the importance of polyploidy — having more than two sets of chromosomes — evolution of flowering and seed plants. She joined UF in 2000.
She has over 400 scientific publications, has written and edited nine books, and served as president of three scientific societies.
Soltis was nominated for the National Medal of Science and won the 2018 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Southeastern Universities Research Association. Alongside her husband, Doug Soltis, also a distinguished professor at the university, Pam Soltis co-won the 2002 Dahlgren Prize in Botany from the Royal Swedish Physiographic Society, the 2006 Asa Gray Prize from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the 2010 Award of Merit from the Botanical Society of America and the 2016 Darwin-Wallace Medal from the Linnean Society of London.
Soltis and his team are currently working on digitizing national history collections for research and using artificial intelligence to answer plant biology questions. They are also refining the plant branch of the Tree of Life, a project by biologists to document all known species and their relationships.
With this award, Soltis will become a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teacher Scholars, which includes a $3,000 stipend for his teaching efforts. She will also be UF’s nominee for the Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award.
“I feel so honoured,” Soltis said. “I don’t see this as an individual award, but as a team award. The main member of my team is my husband, but also post-docs, students, researchers and everyone at the museum. »
March 8, 2022