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FVCC graduate wins national botany award

May 6, 2017 GMT

A Flathead Valley Community College graduate has gained national attention for his research around how heavy-metal toxicity affects rain forests.

Nicolas Glynos recently won a Young Botanist Award from the Botanical Society of America.

Glynos earned an associate of science degree at FVCC in 2016 and transferred to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York last fall.

Botany Professor Mirabai McCarthy worked closely with Glynos during his time in Kalispell.

“Nick is by far one of the most driven students I’ve encountered during my entire career. His ability to focus on his studies is impeccable, and his work ethic is unmatched,” McCarthy said. “His desire to succeed parallels his intense curiosity about the natural world.”

Glynos was one of 13 college students nationwide to receive the award. The purpose of these awards is to offer individual recognition to outstanding graduating seniors in the plant sciences and to encourage their participation in the Botanical Society of America.

Last summer, Glynos participated in a Smithsonian research project in Panama. There, he studied how heavy-metal toxicity affects rain forest tree growth and reproduction.

Since transferring to Cornell, Glynos has worked at the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium, measuring, imaging and data-basing plant specimens and geo-referencing them on digital maps.

He will travel across the western U.S. this summer to collect and photograph oak species for his senior thesis. He is on track to graduate from Cornell this December and plans to study systematics, evolution and diversity of tropical plants at the graduate level.