Tropical Plant Conservation News

Archive - June 2011

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Fairchild Challenge High School Students Join Summer Research Internship Program at FIU and CTPC

Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 05:25:32 PM

• Starting in June 20 and during eight weeks, five high school students from the Fairchild Challenge will be participating in a USDA-funded internship with FIU's Agroecology Program to study biofuels.  The students will be learning the core techniques with which one can extract fuels from different biological materials, as well as visiting local research and agricultural centers, exploring the environmental costs and consequences of biofuel development and intensification, and thinking about ways to expand the biofuels potential of South Florida. Image on the left: Top row from left to right: Andrew Jungman (FIU Graduate student), *Cathernine Roen (Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart), Prof. Krish Jayachandran, Prof. Mahadev Bhat, Dr. Eric von Wettberg, *Amy Diaz (South Miami Senior High School), Kennan Zolfaghari (Coral Reef High School). Bottom row from left to right *Karli Pulido (American Senior High School), *Hope Wilcox (Miami Lakes Educational Center), *Johamary Pena (Homestead Senior High) *Fairchild Challenge student


Book on Climate Change and Plant Introduction

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 05:26:08 PM

• The Center for Tropical Plant Conservation has a commitment for research pertinent to the effect of climatic change on plant biodiversity. Indeed, this is one of the main research priorities of our group. As a result of the CTPC research activities in this area our Dr. Joyce Maschinski and Dr. Kristin E. Haskins (Northern Arizona University) have edited a new book entitled "Plant Reintroduction in a Changing Climate. Promises and Perils". The book presents a comprehensive review of plant reintroduction projects and practices, the circumstances of their successes or failures, lessons learned, and the potential role for reintroductions in preserving species threatened by climate change. Contributors examine current plant reintroduction practices, from selecting appropriate source material and recipient sites to assessing population demography. The book is being published by Island Press and sponsored by the Center for Plant Conservation. The book is due to be out in print in December 2011.


Dr. Hong Liu and Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega visit Beijing Forestry University

Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 05:26:53 PM

 • Invited by Prof. Hong-Xia Liu and supported by the Dean's Office of FIU and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, our Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega and Dr. Hong Liu visited the College of Forestry of Beijing Forestry University on June 22. Dr. Francisco Ortega delivered a talk entitled: "The Fairchild Education Project: Training the Next Generation of Tropical Botanists". Dr. Hong Liu's talk was on "Orchid Conservation Research". During this visit we reinforced our current research ties with Prof. Xong-Xia Liu's laboratory  and made plans for future projects mostly on orchid biodiversity. Image on the left: Dr. Francisco-Ortega delivering his seminar. Below left: Dr. Hong Liu delivering her seminar. Below right: Building of the Beijing Forestry University



Visiting Scientist, Dr. James J. Valdés Develops Plant Anatomy Research at Fairchild

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 05:27:30 PM

• Plant anatomy is an integral part of the Garden and some of the most
important scientific contributions of Fairchild have been in this
field (see below May News on the publication of the book Palm Anatomy by Tomlinson et al. 2011). Dr. James J. Valdés, a graduate from Florida International University with ample experience in
molecular biology, bioinformatics and histology, is visiting us
between April and August to develop plant histological methods. Prior
to visiting us, Dr. Valdés was a postdoctoral fellow at the ICREA Life
Science Department
at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (Barcelona, Spain). At the end of August Dr. Valdés will join the Institute of Parasitology in České Budějovice, Czech Republic for a position as a postdoctoral researcher to develop vaccines against tick-borne
diseases. As a Visiting Scientist at Fairchild, Dr. Valdés will be
working with our herbarium curator Dr. Brett Jestrow and FIU-Fairchild
researcher Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega on projects focusing on
Caribbean Island endemics – particularly on identifying patterns of
nickel deposition and calcium crystals (e.g., druses and cystoliths)
in plant tissue. Dr. Valdés is also assisting in mentoring Nicolas
, an undergraduate intern from Florida International
who is being supported by an NSF grant (see below May


Plant Identification Monthly Workshops to Fairchild Challenge School Teachers and Garden Members

Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 05:28:20 PM

 • Led by our Herbarium Curator Dr. Brett Jestrow, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosts a monthly workshop where Fairchild Challenge School Teachers and Garden Members can bring their plants to have them identified. This workshop aims to enhance the public appreciation for our unique flora and also to increase awareness for those invasive species that threaten the ecosystems of South Florida. The workshops take place the first Friday of every month at the Center for Tropical Plant Conservation (11935 Old Cutler Road, ca. 1 mile south from the Main Garden) between 1:00 and 4:00 PM. This community and scientific educational activity of our herbarium was featured in the June 6 issue of the Miami Herald. Click here for the full news cover.