CV

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I study the effects of species interactions on evolutionary trajectories utilizing the coevolved brood site pollination mutualism between endangered Zamia cycads and their Rhopalotria weevil pollinators.  My research integrates across scientific disciplines to answer fundamental questions about the evolution of biodiversity and conservation biology.florida-1226

502 Mann Library ~ Cornell University ~ Ithaca NY 14853

 

Education

Harvard University, 2019
Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Ecology and evolution of cycads and their symbionts, 
Advisors: Profs. Naomi E. Pierce and Robin Hopkins
Funding: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
 
University of California, Berkeley, 2012
B.S. in Genetics and Plant Biology
Alternative oxidase gene expression during Macrozamia lucida thermogenesis
Advisor: Prof. Chelsea Specht
Honors, High Distinction, Major Citation Award

 

Professional Experience

National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology Specht and Raguso Labs, School for Integrative Plant Sciences and the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell, 2019-present

Laboratory Technician Pierce Lab, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard, 2013

Staff Research Associate & Lab Manager Specht Lab, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 2012-2013

Undergraduate Laboratory Assistant Specht Lab under Dr. Tanya Renner, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 2011

Undergraduate Study Manager Altieri Lab under Dr. Albie Miles, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, 2010-2011

Senior Agriculture Research Assistant under Dr. Lucia Varella, Sonoma County University of California Cooperative Extension, 2006-2008

Honors and Awards

Schmidt Science Fellowship Finalist Schmidt Science Foundation,  2018
Distinction in Teaching Award Derek Bok Center for Teaching, Harvard University,  2018
Arthur K. Bell Award Brain Chemistry Labs at the Institute for EthnoMedicine,  2017
Grady L. Webster Plant Systematics Publication Award American Society of Plant Taxonomist,  2016
Major Citation Award University of California Berkeley Genetics and Plant Biology,  2012
Udall Scholar Honorable Mention Udall Foundation,  2011

 

 

Service and Outreach

The Cycad Society Board of Directors,  2014-present
Cambridge Entomological Club Elected Vice-president: 2014-2015, Preside 2015-2016, Executive Board 2016-2017, Treasurer 2017-2019
Harvard Science Policy Group Executive Board 2014-2016
The Cycad Society Newsletter 2018 Article Interview with Dennis Stevenson
Cambridge Entomological Club Public Presentation 2016  The Presidnet’s Address: Mechanisms of a Neotropical Coevolution: Plant-Insect Communication in a Cycad-Weevil Symbiosis
Frontiers for Young Minds Presentation 2016 Don’t Judge a Plant by its Flowers
The Cycad Society Newsletter 2014 Article  Our New Board member, Shayla Salzman Describes her Research
Hobby Farms Magazine Online Edition Article 2009 Soil Contamination: A Farm Buyer’s Primer
Redwood Empire Nursery Growers Association Presentation 2008 Light Brown Apple Moth

Invited Seminars

Salzman S. 2020. Phylogenetics in the study of cycad-weevil pollination mutualism Guest lecture, Model-based Phylogenetics course (ENTOM 4610), Entomology Department, Cornell University

Salzman S. 2019. Ecology and evolution of a cycad-weevil pollination mutualism Plant Biology Department Seminar, Cornell University

Salzman S. 2017. Mechanisms of a gymnosperm pollinator coevolution: plant-insect communication in a cycad-weevil symbiosis Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Symposium, Harvard University

Salzman S. 2015. Mechanisms of a Neotropical coevolution: plant-insect communication and specificity of Zamia pollination Herbarium Seminar, National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA) Brazil

Salzman S. 2015. Mechanisms of a gymnosperm pollinator coevolution: plant-insect communication in a cycad-weevil symbiosis Evolution Seminar, Federal University of Pará State Santarém (UFOPA) Brazil

Salzman S. 2012. Gene Expression during Macrozamia lucida Thermogenesis College of Natural Resources Honor’s Symposium, University of California

Conference Presentations

Salzman S, Whitaker M, Pierce NE. 2018. Cycad-feeding insects share a core gut microbiome Plant Biology Initiative at Harvard University 913h Annual Plant Biology Symposium (poster)

Salzman S, Whitaker M, Pierce NE. 2017. Assessing the potential for bacterial degradation of BMAA in the guts of cycad feeding insets International BMAA Conference (poster) *Winner Arthur K. Bell Award

Hua C*, Salzman S, Pierce NE. 2017. Is Anatrachyntis another insect radiation onto cycads? ­Harvard College’s Undergraduate Research Spotlight (poster)

Salzman S. 2015. Mechanisms of a Neotropical coevolution: plant-insect communication and specificity of Zamia pollination Cycad X: 10th International Conference on Cycad Biology

Salzman S. 2015. Plant-insect communication and RhopalotriaZamia mutualism International Evolution Conference

Salzman S, Yockteng R, Terry I, Specht CD. 2014 Varying alternative oxidase gene expression during Macrozamia lucida thermogenesis suggests transcriptional regulation Plant Biology Initiative at Harvard University 9th Annual Plant Biology Symposium (poster)

Salzman S, André T, Specht CD. 2013. Spiraling into History: A Molecular phylogeny, biogeography, and ancestral character state reconstruction of distribution and pollination syndrome for Costus (Costaceae) Monocots V: 5th International Conference on Comparative Biology of Monocotyledons (poster)

Salzman S. 2009. Bioremediation of Nitrate in Wastewater MESA (Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement) poster session Santa Rosa Junior College (poster)

Publications

Salzman S, Crook D, Crall J, Hopkins R, Pierce NE. 2020. An ancient push-pull pollination mechanism in cycads. Science Advances 6: eeay6169

Whitaker M, Baker CCM, Salzman S, Martins DJ, Pierce NE. 2019. Combining stable isotope analysis with DNA metabarcoding improves inferences of trophic ecology. PloS one 14: e0219070

Hua C*, Salzman S, Pierce NE. 2018. A first record of Anatrachyntis badia (Hodges1962) (Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae) on Zamia integrifolia (Zamiaceae). Florida Entomologist 101: 335-338

Salzman S, Whitaker M, Pierce NE. 2018. Cycad-feeding insects share a core gut microbiome. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 123: 728-738 

Bruenn R, Lavenburg V, Salzman S.  2017. Don’t judge a plant by its flowers. Frontiers for Young Minds 5:31 Doi: 10.3389/frym.2017.00031

Whitaker M, Salzman S, Sanders J, Kaltenpoth M, Pierce N. 2016. Microbial communities of Lycaenid butterflies do not correlate with larval diet. Frontiers in Microbiology 7:1920. Doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01920

André T, Salzman S, Wendt T, Specht CD. 2016. Speciation dynamics and biogeography of Neotropical spiral gingers (Costaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 103: 55-63

Andre T, Specht CD, Salzman S, Palma-Silva C, Wendt T. 2015. Evolution of species diversity in the genus Chamaecostus (Costaceae): molecular phylogenetics and morphometric approaches Phytotaxa 204: 265-276

Salzman S, Driscoll HE, Renner T, André T, Shen S, Specht CD. 2015. Spiraling into History: a molecular phylogeny and investigation of biogeographic origins and floral evolution for the genus Costus. Systematic Botany 40:104-115  *Winner Grady L. Webster Award for best plant systematics publication for 2014-2015

Espeland M, Hall JPW, DeVries PJ, Lees DC, Cornwall M, Hsu YF, Wu LW, Campbell DL, Talavera G, Vila R, Salzman S, Ruehr S*, Lohman DJ, Pierce NE. 2015. Ancient Neotropical origin and recent recolonization: Phylogeny, biogeography and diversification of the Riodinidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 93: 296-306

*Undergraduate mentees

Cycad-related Collaborators

Thiago André,  Federal University of Pará, Brazil
Francisco Barona-Gomez,  National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity, Mexico
Michael Calonje,  Montgomery Botanical Center, Florida
Angélica Cibrián-Jaramillo,  National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity, Mexico
Paul Cox,  Brain Chemistry Labs at the Institute for EthnoMedicine
Damon Crook,  United States Department of Agriculture
Dennis Stevenson,  New York Botanical Garden
William Tang,  United States Department of Agriculture
Alberto Taylor,  University of Panama
Irene Terry,  University of Utah
Melissa Whitaker,  Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
 

Cyad-Related Field Work

Florida USA,  Biannually 2014-present
Mexico,  2017
Panama,  2015
Colombia,  2015
Brazil,  2015

 

Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships

National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology

$207,000

Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology Barbour Fund 2015

$2,500

Society for the Study of Evolution 2015

$500

Cycad Society 2015

$500

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship 2014

$96,000

Berkeley Scholarship 2012

$14,212

Harry L. Wollenberg scholarship 2010

$7072

Federal Smart Grant 2010

$4000

Esta M. Rodkey Scholarship 2010

$500

Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Foundation Scholarship 2010

$1,500

American Association of University Women Scholarship 2010

$2,500

Cal Alumni Club of Oakmont Scholarship 2010

$1,500

SRJC Alumni and Friends Honoring Dr. Roy G. Mikalson Scholarship 2010

$1,500

Paul Mancini Memorial Agriculture Scholarship 2010

$600

Luther Burbank Botany Scholarship 2010

$800

Clark Nattkemper Science Education Scholarship 2010

$500

American Business Women’s Association 2009

$750

Luther Burbank Botany Scholarship 2009

$450

Doyle Scholarship 2008

$1,600

Dr. Pearl Konttas Continuing Student Scholarship 2008

$500

Luther Burbank Botany Scholarship 2008

$600

Doyle Scholarship 2007

$1,600

Dr. Pearl Konttas Continuing Student Scholarship 2007

$450

Doyle Scholarship 2006

$1,600

 

$348,734