Junior Named Goldwater Scholar for Academics, Research on Ants, Orchids
Sebastian Scofield, a junior biology major from Hillsboro, Ore., was recently named
a 2013 Goldwater Scholar for his academic record, service to UD and undergraduate
research accomplishments. Only four other UD students have received the honor in the
last 20 years--Elizabeth Reisinger '93, Sean Walbran '94, Carol Gee '99 and Anna Marie
"Sebastian has tremendous intellect and field research skills, and I have seen him
develop these further at UD with every experience," said Marcy Brown Marsden, chair
and associate professor of biology. "From studying unknown species of ants in Costa
Rica, to censusing orchids in Texas, to teaching himself computer-based mapping he
has accomplished much in a short time, and it is great to see him recognized for it."
Scofield has completed two significant research projects at UD: one in La Fortuna,
Costa Rica, and one in Irving. In Costa Rica, Scofield studied ant and butterfly species
diversity to determine the progress of a reforestation project.
In Irving, he studied Hexalectris myco-heterotrophic orchids, investigating the relationship
between orchid population and annual rainfall and between orchid locations and soil
or geological characteristics. Both projects were completed under the guidance of
"I am especially grateful to my parents for encouraging me to follow my passion, even
if that passion was ants," said Scofield, "and to Dr. Marcy Brown Marsden, for being
such a wonderful mentor and helping me to accomplish everything I have with my research."
As for Scofield's plans for the future, they include earning a doctorate in evolutionary
ecology, and then teaching and conducting research at the university level. Scofield
plans to focus his research on insects who display a high level of social organization,
like ants, bees and wasps.
The national award, which was given this year to only 300 students nationwide, is
named after U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater in honor of his years of service to the
U.S. and his interest in science and technology. Each Goldwater Scholar receives a
scholarship that covers tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of
PHOTO: Scofield investigates a termite nest in Costa Rica.