Brett Jestrow, Ph.D.

Brett Jestrow, PhD

Herbarium Curator

Center for Tropical Plant Conservation,
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Phone: 305-665-2844 x 3427


 Curriculum Vitae


Research Activities

I focus on Caribbean plant evolution (including South Florida), covering anatomical and molecular methods. Of course, conservation and education are important parts of all research.

Every month, the herbarium hosts the Plant Identification Workshop a fun way to see a herbarium first-hand, and see how we identify plants.

Current research projects:

-  Phylogenetics of endemic genera of the Caribbean

-  Physiology of the nickel hyperaccumulating genus Leucocroton

-  Succulent evolution in the Caribbean (other than cacti...)


Jestrow, B., G. Proctor, and Francisco-Ortega. 2008. Lasiocroton trelawniensis (Euphorbiaceae), a critically endangered species from the cockpit country of Jamaica, belongs to Bernardia (Euphorbiaceae). Botanical Review 74: 166-177.

Jestrow, B., F. Jiménez, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2010. Generic delimitation in the Antillean Adelieae (Euphorbiaceae) with the description of the Hispaniolan   endemic genus Garciadelia. Taxon 59: 1801-1814.

Zona, S., J. Francisco-Ortega, B. Jestrow, W.J. Baker, and C.E. Lewis. 2011. Molecular phylogenetics of the palm subtribe Ptychospermatinae (Arecaceae).  American Journal of Botany 98: 1716-1726.

Maunder, M., M. Abdo, R. Berazaín, C. Clubbe, F. Jiménez, A. Leiva, E. Santiago Valentin, B. Jestrow, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2011. The plants of the Caribbean Islands: A review of the biogeography, diversity and conservation of a storm battered biodiversity hotspot. In: Bramwell, D. and J. Caujapé-Castells (eds.). pp. 154-178. The biology of island floras. Cambridge University Press, London.

Jestrow, B., J.E. Gutiérrez Amaro, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2012. Islands within Islands; a plant radiation across the Caribbean Islands and within the serpentinite archipelago of Cuba. Journal of Biogeography 39: 452-464

Jestrow, B., J. Valdés, F. Jiménez & J. Francisco-Ortega. 2012. Phylogenetic placement of the Dominican Republic endemic genus Sarcopilea (Urticaceae). Taxon 61: 592-600.

Oleas, N., B. Jestrow, M. Calonje, B. Peguero, F. Jiménez, R. Rodríguez-Peña, R. Oviedo, E. Santiago-Valentín, A.W. Meerow, M. Abdo, M. Maunder, P. Griffith & J. Francisco-Ortega (In press). Molecular systematics of threatened seed plant species endemic in the Caribbean Islands. Botanical Review.


Education and Training

Florida International University. Ph.D. in Biology, 2010

University of Florida, B.S. in Botany, 2002


Teaching at Florida International University

Currently, Dr. Brad Bennett, Dr. Scott Zona, and I are teaching the course, Workshop in Tropical Plant Families. The three credit graduate course is held on the grounds of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, where students are able to take advantage of our extensive living collections.

In Fall 2011, Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega and I are taught the graduate course, Plant Molecular Systematics, held at the Center for Tropical Plant Conservation. The course has both a lecture and lab component where students conduct their own projects using plants from the garden and the molecular lab. 

Last updated: Oct. 14, 2012