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Hendrix Biology Professor and Students Publish Ponderosa Pine Research

CONWAY, Ark. (January 25, 2017) – A manuscript authored by Hendrix College biology professor Dr. Ann Willyard and co-authored by seven Hendrix student researchers recently appeared in the American Journal of Botany.

“Pinus ponderosa: A checkered past obscured four species” was also featured in the journal’s list of noteworthy articles.

Hendrix student coauthors included:

  • Blake Cooper ’16
  • Connor Douglas ’16
  • Kristen Finch ’13
  • Hassani H. Karemera ’16
  • Julia Lefler ’17
  • Payton Lea ’13
  • Austin Wofford ’15

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research at Hendrix,” said Finch, now a graduate student at Oregon State University. “I gained valuable experience working in a lab, writing and thinking as a scientist. Now I am in graduate school, and being a contributing author on a publication of this caliber is a great advantage. It is amazing that four years after graduation my résumé is still growing from the lab and field work I did during my time in the Willyard lab.”

Ten other Hendrix students contributed to this research project:

  • Adam Bigott ’14
  • Jack Finney ’13
  • Dalton Hoose ’15
  • Brandon Linz ’11
  • Hoai Trang Nguyen ’12
  • Dakota Pouncey ’15
  • Brian Schumacher ’14
  • Nicole Segear ’11
  • Joshua Smith ’14
  • Kevin Spatz ’14

“Research in my lab at Hendrix over the last seven years has incorporated 22 full-time summer research students,” said Willyard. “Each of these students conducted an independent experiment that focused on some portion of this big question, allowing most of them to present their own results at a scientific conference.”

“The exciting aspect is that by having their data pulled together into a broader manuscript that was published by the American Journal of Botany, each student was able to make a substantial contribution to science through their experience of ‘learning by doing,’” she added. “Financial and other support from Hendrix College has therefore contributed both to student development and to our scientific understanding of an important forest species.”

Watch a video of Willyard presenting the research.

About Hendrix College

Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit