Studying both journalism and biology at West Virginia University, senior Codi Yeager has been recognized for both her interests in plant biology and writings about botanical science.

Yeager is the recipient of a Young Botanist Award, given by the Botanical Society of America. The purpose of these awards is to offer individual recognition to outstanding graduating seniors in the plant sciences and to encourage their participation in the Botanical Society of America.

This is the first award given to a journalist-botanist by the society, emphasizing the importance of communicating plant science to the public. Yeager’s academic background and investigative approach made her well qualified to write accurate and engaging articles about botanical subjects for her journalism internships, utilizing her interdependent journalism major and biology minor.

While enrolled in the Tropical Ecology-Bahamas course taught by WVU adjunct professor Kass at the Gerace Research Center on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, she proposed and conducted an original research project, “A Study of Bay Lavender Seedlings, location, density, growth and seed germination,” on native dune-plant populations. This outstanding project was subsequently presented at two scientific meetings and is currently pending publication in the Bahamas Natural History Proceedings.

“Her findings are extremely important for the preservation of coastal dunes, which serve an important role in stabilizing shorelines,” said Lee B. Kass, Ph.D., who helped found the Bahamas National Herbarium, and has taught at the field station since 1982.

Yeager’s mentor at WVU, Susan Moyle Studlar, Ph.D., curator of the WVU Bryophyte and Lichen Herbarium says that Yeager excelled at independent library and laboratory investigations.

“Her botany papers and reports reflect an independent and thoughtful perspective,” Studlar said.

Yeager’s award will be announced on the society’s website and in the Plant Science Bulletin, a publication of the Botanical Society of America.

The society, founded in 1893, is a membership group whose mission is to promote botany, the field of basic science dealing with the study and inquiry into the form, function, development, diversity, reproduction, evolution and uses of plants and their interactions within the biosphere.

For more information, contact Lee Kass, adjunct professor of biology at WVU, at or or Susan Studlar, visiting associate professor of biology, at (304) 293–1794 or



CONTACT: Rebecca Herod, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
304-293-7405, ext. 5251,

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.