Thursday, October 31, 2013
Between October 14-15, Dr. David Bramwell, UNESCO Professor for Plant Biodiversity Conservation in the Macaronesian Islands and West Africa (UNESCO Center Gran Canaria) at the Canary Islands visited us. Prof. Bramwell is a widely recognized authority on biodiversity and conservation of island plants. Before his appointment at UNESCO he was the Director of the Botanic Garden Viera y Clavijo (Gran Canaria) where he led one of the most successful programs for plant taxonomy and conservation of island plants. This botanical institution was pioneer in ex situ conservation programs in botanic gardens. During this visit he was hosted by Prof. Javier Francisco-Ortega (FIU-Fairchild Faculty). The main aim of this visit was to find ways to establish future collaborations focusing on global plant biodiversity conservation issues on islands worldwide. During this visit Prof. Bramwell also met with colleagues from the Montgomery Botanical Center (Excecutive Director Dr. Patrick Griffith) and from FIU College of Arts and Sciences (Dr. Mike Maunder, currently Interim Director of The Kampong Gardens from the National Tropical Botanic Garden) and we had enjoyable discussions on potential partnerships among institutions from Miami and the UNESCO Center Gran Canaria. Our gratitude to The Kampong Gardens for arranging lodging for Prof. Bramwell in its main guest house and to FIU College of Arts and Sciences for supporting this visit. Image below: Top row: Prof. David Bramwell standing outside the Barbour Cottage (built in 1926) at the Kampong Gardens. Middle row: Prof. David Bramwell standing on the lowlands of Fairchild (left); Prof. David Bramwell and Prof. Javier Francisco-Ortega looking at a plant of the Dominican Republic endemic Pilea fairchildiana (Urticaceae) at Fairchild (right). Bottom row: Prof. David Bramwell, Dr. Patrick Griffith, and Prof. Javier Francisco-Ortega during the visit to the Montgomery Botanical Center.
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