Image: Congratulations to Piotr Tuczapski (Trapnell lab) for receiving two grants, one from the American Orchid Society and the second the Bill Dahl Graduate Student Research Award from the Botanical Society of America. Piotr received these awards to fund a project related to his dissertation work. Piotr’s research will investigate the relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and orchids. Mycorrhizal fungi form a symbiotic relationship with orchid roots, helping them to obtain nutrients. Piotr will determine which specific fungi are associated with 4 different orchid species in Costa Rica. These orchids grow on the branches of trees, and Piotr plans to find out whether the trees that the orchids grow on have an influence on the fungal partners that their orchids associate with. This research will add to our understanding of the diverse plant-fungal interactions that are essential for plants to thrive.