• University of Florida gator logo

    2018 - Present

    University of Florida

    Ph.D. in Botany

    I am currently working with Drs. Pam and Doug Soltis for my graduate degree.

  • Shelly in the Indian River Lagoon picking leaf tissue from a patch of smooth cordgrass.


    University of Central Florida

    B.S. Biology

    During my undergraduate, I worked with Drs. Eric Hoffman and Linda Walters on a project assessing genetic diversity within natural populations of smooth cordgrass to ensure effective restoration efforts. I also worked with Dr. Chase Mason and Simone Lim-Hing on a project focused on genome duplication impact on secondary metabolite composition in non-cultivated species.

  • Group photo of the Pire's lab, including Chris's dog Trixie.


    University of Missouri


    In Dr. J. Chris Pires lab, I worked with Hong An on unraveling the origins of allotetraploid Brassica napus.

  • Nametag from the Florida Museum for Michelle Gaynor, Research Assistant, Molecular Lab Natural History.


    University of Florida

    NSF-REU iDigBio

    With Drs. Pam and Doug Soltis, I investigated niche divergence among ploidal levels in a classic autopolyploid system, Galax urceolata.

  • Group photo of William Weaver, Julienne Ng, Shelly Gaynor, Vivianna Sanchez, and Rob Laport.


    University of Colorado-Boulder


    With Drs. Julienne Ng and Robert Laport, I investigated the influence of genome duplication on Brassicaceae and Rosaceae communities across the United States.

  • CV in white-text on an orange background.


Plot showing where US Biology PhD Students are paid a living wage.

Loose goats seen roaming UF campus

University of Florida

August 2023

Hands holding out an empty wallet.

Ph.D. Students Demand Wage Increases


May 2022

Plot showing where US Biology PhD Students are paid a living wage.

Ph.D. Students Face Wages that Don’t Cover Living Costs


May 2022

Michelle Gaynor collecting Galax urceolata surrounded by dense flora.

Florida Museum Students Return to the Field

FLMNH Student Fieldwork

October 2021

Michelle Gaynor smiling behind flowering Shortia galacifolia, who have creamy-white flowers.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship


May 2019

Potted Galax urceolata with shiny green and leathery leaves.

Climatic Niche Comparison among Galax Cytotypes

New Paper

July 2018

Group photo of William Weaver, Julienne Ng, Michelle Gaynor, Vivianna Sanchez, and Robert Laport.

Polyploid Influences on Community Structure

First Publication

April 2018

Group photo of Arturia Silimon, Adrienne Loft, R. Shawn Abrahams, Michelle Gaynor, Ashley Stinson, and Flor Aguirre-Valdes.

Summer Off-Campus Research Experiences

Blog post with UCF-OUR

April 2018

Group of students, donors, and university leaders smiling at the UCF Scholarship lunch.

College of Sciences Scholarships

UCF College of Science

October 2017

Headshot of Michelle Gaynor. She is smiling in a greenhouse and is surrounded by flowering Brassica.

Student Researches Roses and Cabbage

UCF College of Science

October 2017

Headshot of Michelle Gaynor next to her research poster on restoration genetics of smooth cordgrass.

Student’s Award-Winning Restoration Research

UCF College of Science

April 2017

Headshot of Michelle Gaynor. She is smiling and standing in-front of a tree.

Biology Student Receives Golden Opportunity

UCF College of Science

July 2016

Contact Me

At MichelleGaynor at ufl.edu or by using the links below