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Professor Presents Work of DSU Scholars at Botanical Society Conference

DSU Botany Professor Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding with one of the posters that she presented at the recent Botanical Society of America Conference.

CLEVELAND, Miss. — DSU Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding attended the recent Botanical Society of America annual conference in Boise, Idaho from July 22 -26 where she presented three scientific posters. Two of the posters were created by three of her former students in her Plant Anatomy and Economic Botany courses.

The Botanical Society of America conference is an annual event. Professors, graduate students, undergraduate students, and professionals in the Botanical Sciences can share their research with each other in the form of workshops, oral presentations, poster presentations and more. It incorporates all different fields of botany including systematics, plant anatomy, ethnobotany, ecology, conservation biology, paleobotany, and other disciplines.

“It is the leading botanical society in the USA,” said Baghai-Riding. “I have been attending the Botanical Society of America conference for 30 years. I met who I wanted to study for my PhD many years ago by attending the BSA meetings.”

Geona Miles, a McNair Scholar and Biology major who graduated from DSU in 2023, co-authored both student posters. One poster was titled “A plant anatomical investigation of Hydrocotyle bonariensis Comm. ex Lam (Araliaceae).” Co-authors included JuEun Yun, also a ’23 biology graduate, Dr. William Katembe, Associate Professor of Biology at DSU, and Baghai-Riding. Miles’ second poster was titled “Pears (Pyrus, Rosaceae) as a Nutritional Source of Food,” co-authored by Yun, Baghai-Riding and Julie Hardy, a DSU class of ’23 graduate in Environmental Science.

Baghai-Riding said, “Both poster presentations were very well received.”

Baghai-Riding also presented a poster on her palynology research with Clayton Forster, a graduate student at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Celina Suarez, Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Marina Suarez at the University of Kansas, Dr. Jim Kirkland, Utah Geological Survey, and Dr. Carol Hotton, Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History. Baghai-Riding’s poster was titled “Floral Shifts in Relative Dominance, not Species Turnover, in the Pre-Angiosperm World: Palynological Evidence from the Yellow Cat Member, Cedar Mountain Formation, East Central Utah, USA.” Abstracts for all three posters can be found on the Botanical Society of America program at

During the conference, Baghai-Riding served as a PLANTS (Preparing Leaders and Nurturing Tomorrow’s Scientists) mentor and was recognized as the longest serving senior mentor of the program. Additionally, she was selected as one of three judges for the prestigious Paleobotany Cookson Award. She also received a $500 Travel Award Grant from the Botanical Society of America.

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