Louis P. and Lucretia Hamilton Scholarship

Louis P. and Lucretia Hamilton Scholarship was created to honor Lucretia Breazeale Hamilton.

Lucretia received her B.S. in Botany and minored in Art from the University of Arizona.  Lucretia was a world leader in southwestern botanical illustration and was highly regarded for her beautiful and accurate illustrations of native plants, particularly her drawings of cacti.  She was asked to illustrate scientific articles after her college professors noticed the sharp detailed illustrations in her lab notebook.  She illustrated 16 books, including The Cacti of the United States and Canada, The Trees and Shrubs of the Southwestern Deserts, Plants That Poison, Grasses of the Southwestern United States, and An Illustrated Guide to Arizona Weeds. 

For additional information on Lucretia Hamilton see the below links.






Abigail Cochran

For my senior honors thesis project I have spent the past year researching Gila Topminnow population health in urban ponds around Tucson to determine whether one might support viable populations of this animal in built environments. As ceaseless constriction of this endangered, native Arizona fish’s historic range continues, I believe we must turn to human-dominated landscapes to implement innovative conservation strategies. I hope that my research will serve as a guide for design professionals and ecologists alike, as these groups seeks to reconcile the challenges presented by wildlife management and urbanization in coming decades.


Kai Lepley



James Stegen



Emilie Snell-rood

"Why do animals vary in learning ability? Emilie's dissertation research used butterflies to experimentally test for costs associated with learning. She found that genetic variation in learning ability within a species is related to increased investment in costly neural tissue and delays in reproduction. Furthermore, the process of learning is additionally costly, resulting in tradeoffs with lifetime reproduction. The results of Emilie's dissertation work provide experimental work that complement decades of comparative research on variation in brain size and learning in primates." 

How does that work?

As for current research.... 

"Emilie is currently using a variety of systems, in particular butterflies, to test questions about the evolution of learning and flexibility in development. More information can be found on her lab's website: http://www.cbs.umn.edu/lab/emilies



Heather Maughan

As an EEB graduate student in 2005, I was a proud recipient of a Lucretia B. Hamilton Scholarship. This award helped fund my research, which involved eavesdropping on bacteria to test hypotheses about how their genomes would evolve under different selection pressures. Following graduate school my postdoctoral research continued to focus on bacterial evolution. I then set my sights on larger communities of microbes, and used high-throughput DNA sequencing methods to investigate their interactions for several years. The collaborative environment of such large projects inspired me to open my own freelance business, to offer expertise in microbiome data analysis and science writing to researchers wanting to know more about their favorite microbiome.  www.heathermaughan.ca