This year best master’s thesis award was given to Lucie Cauwet for her work entitled " Morphology, function and evolution of male genitalia (hemispermatophores and spermatophores) in the Superfamily Scorpionoidea Latreille, 1802 (Chelicerata, Scorpiones)", conducted at the Université de Genève & Muséum d’histoire naturelle de la Ville de Genève. This thesis presents a thorough examination of scorpion spermatophores and hemi-spermatophores: Lucie explored structural homologies across the order and proposed a revised nomenclature for scorpion spermatophores and hemi-spermatophores. She also used a maximum parsimony reconstruction of their evolution by mapping characters on an existing phylogeny, and retrieved synapomorphies for taxa at different phylogenetic levels.
This year, we also rewarded a second Master thesis, Anahita Aebli, for her work entitled “Assembly of the Madagascan biota by replicated adaptive radiations: Case studies in Leguminosae-Mimosoideae”, conducted at the Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Zürich. Anahita investigated geotemporal trajectories of diversification in Madagascan mimosoid legumes via a comparative study of two species-rich Madagascan clades, the informal Dichrostachys group and Mimosa. She used genome-wide RADseq data to reconstruct densely sampled phylogenies for these two clades, and inferred for both groups a contemporaneous late Miocene colonization of Madagasacar followed by an early burst of diversification.
The SSS wants to encourage brilliant young scientists in their early career and therefore set up a yearly prize that will reward an excellent contribution in the field of systematics at the level of a Master thesis.
See details in the document below.
Deadline for next submission: July 31st
Evolution of scorpion spermatophores and hemi-spermatophores
Evolutionary diversification of the Madagascan flora