I've had an interest in rocks and fossils since I was a small child, amassing a large collection in my youth, but hadn't considered it a viable career path instead starting my path as a social scientist studying gender and sexuality. My interest in a career in paleontology peaked after finishing my first degree, leading me to pursue a second bachelors degree. While working on my undergraduate at Weber State I discovered a true deep love of plants as well as a curiosity about the methods they use to adapt to new environments, which has lead me to pursuing a doctoral degree here at Stanford University.

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Graduate Award, Weber State Univeristy - Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (2020)

Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor of Science, Weber State University, Geology (2020)
  • Area Studies Certificate, Utah State University, Women and Gender Studies (2013)
  • Bachelor of Science, Utah State University, Sociology (2013)

All Publications

  • The ontogeny of disparity in Cupressaceae seed cones. The New phytologist Huntsman, S. V., Leslie, A. B. 2023


    Ontogenetic shape change has long been recognized to be important in generating patterns of morphological diversity and may be especially important in plant reproductive structures. We explore how seed cone disparity in Cupressaceae changes over ontogeny by comparing pollination-stage and mature cones. We sampled cones at pollen and seed release and measured cone scales using basic morphometric shape variables. We used multivariate statistical methods, particularly hypervolume overlap calculations, to measure morphospace occupation and disparity. Cone scales at both pollination and maturity exhibit substantial variability, although the disparity is greater at maturity. Mature cone scales are also more clustered in trait space, showing less overlap with other taxa than at pollination. These patterns reflect two growth strategies that generate closed cones over maturation, either through thin laminar scales or relatively thick, peltate scales, resulting in two distinct regions of morphospace occupation. Disparity patterns in Cupressaceae seed cones change over ontogeny, reflecting shifting functional demands that require specific patterns of cone scale growth. The evolution of Cupressaceae reproductive disparity therefore represents selection for trajectories of ontogenetic shape change, a phenomenon that should be widespread across seed plants.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/nph.19482

    View details for PubMedID 38148572