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Grants & Awards through ABLS

ABLS offers a variety of awards and grants, including the Tuckerman and Sullivant awards, the Anderson & Crum and Culberson & Hale grants, and Student Travel Grants. See below for more information on each.



Tuckerman Award

Edward Tuckerman (1817-1886) is widely considered the father of North American lichenology. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Union College in 1837 and a law degree from Harvard University in 1839. He studied in the Harvard Divinity School for 2-3 years but appears not to have received the degree of Bachelor of Divinity. His interest in lichens was stimulated by a trip to Uppsala, Sweden in 1841, where he met Elias Fries, a leading lichenologist at the time. In 1842, Tuckerman accompanied Professor Asa Gray on a trip to the White Mountains.  The bulk of Tuckerman’s herbarium is housed in the Farlow Herbarium at Harvard (FH)

The first Tuckerman award was given for a paper published in volume 97 (issued in 1994) of The Bryologist.  The award is offered annually to honor the most outstanding lichenological paper published each year in The Bryologist.  The award includes a prize of $1000.00 from the ABLS.


Sullivant Award

William Starling Sullivant (1803-1873) was born in a remote settlement near the site of the present day Columbus, Ohio.  Sullivant graduated from Yale College (now Yale University) in 1823.  Because of the untimely death of his father, Sullivant spent his early years overseeing family properties, but he became keenly interested in the local flora and made extensive collections during the 1830s and beyond.  His first bryological publication was the Musci Allegheaniense, which was accompanied by specimens he collected in the mountains of Maryland to Georgia.   His Icones muscorum, or, Figures and descriptions of most of those mosses peculiar to North America which have not yet been figured was published posthumously in 1874.

Along with the Tuckerman award, the Sullivant award was first offered by the ABLS in 1995.  The annual award recognizes the best bryological paper published each year in The Bryologist, and includes a prize of $1000.


Anderson & Crum Grants for Field Research in Bryology

Howard A. Crum (1922-2002) and Lewis E. Anderson (1912-2007) were close colleagues and spirited friends for much of their active careers during the second half of the 20th Century.  Crum joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1965, where he served as Curator for the Bryophyte Herbarium until his death in 2002.  Anderson joined the Botany Department at Duke University in 1936 and proceeded to build the Duke bryophyte herbarium virtually from scratch.  The herbarium was named in his honor – The Lewis E. Anderson Bryophyte Herbarium – in 1998.  Crum and Anderson’s shining opus, Mosses of Eastern North America (published in 1981), has been and still is a model flora and highly useful for mosses.  Both Anderson and Crum turned their attention to the taxonomy of peatmosses (Sphagnum) during the latter stages of their careers. Crum taught field bryology at the University of Michigan Biological Station each summer for many years and thereby introduced countless students to field bryology.


The Anderson-Crum program of small grants to promote field research in bryology was established and first awarded in 2013.  Generous gifts from ABLS members fund this program.  Applications are solicited each year for proposals from ABLS members. 2024 Application available here.


Culberson & Hale Grants for Field Research in Lichenology

William L. Culberson (1929-2003) and Mason E. Hale (1928-1990) were graduate students together, then lifelong friends and colleagues; the most prominent and influential lichenologists in the United States for their active careers during the second half of the 20th Century. They received their PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Botany (Hale 1953, Culberson 1954) under eminent lichenologist John W. Thomson and eminent ecologist John T. Curtis. Culberson joined the Botany Department faculty at Duke University in 1955, remaining there until retirement in 1995. Bill and his life-long collaborator and wife Chicita together led major advances in the study of lichen chemistry as well as the biological and evolutionary significance of lichens. Bill published over 100 editions of “Recent literature on lichens” and trained a virtual town of lichenologists to shape modern North American lichenology. Hale joined the Smithsonian Institution’s Department of Botany in 1957, where he remained until his death. His research contributed to every aspect of lichenology; he was a leader in many of them. His revisions of the hopelessly broad genus Parmelia sensu lato, his publication of an outstanding field guide for both professionals and amateurs, and his many years teaching field courses on lichenology were among his great contributions. Culberson and Hale together authored the monumental early versions of  ‘‘Checklist(s) of the lichens of the continental United States and Canada.’’


The Culberson-Hale program of small grants to promote field research in lichenology was established and first awarded in 2015.  Generous gifts from ABLS members fund this program.  Applications are solicited each year for proposals from ABLS members.

2024 Application available here.

Student Travel Grants

Student travel grants are available for travel to the ABLS annual meeting. The total amount available varies from year to year, depending on ABLS budgets, donations, and whether or not symposia are also being supported at a particular meeting and if other funds (not ABLS) are available to support symposium presentations. Students must to be ABLS members and must be presenting a paper, workshop, or poster in one of the ABLS sessions.

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