This coming year we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publication of the Flora of the Bahama Archipelago. This seminal work by Fairchild's plant taxonomists Donovan Correll and Helen Correll represented a major milestone in the history of the Garden. In order to preparate some activities to celebrate this event, Dr. Ethan Freid (botanist of the Bahamas National Trust) visited us on December 12. This coming year Fairchild and the Bahamas National Trust will join forces to collect plant material for research and for the living collections of both institutions. We also have plans to conduct historical research pertinent to: (1) Correll & Correll's works in the Garden and (2) the two field trips that David Fairchild perfomed to the Bahamas (1932 and 1933) on board the "Utowana". These historical studies will be based on the documents found in the archives of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. We are also exploring the possibility to organize a symposium on Plant Biodiversity and Conservation of the Bahama Flora in November 2012 at Nassau. Image on the left: Dr. Brett Jestrow (left) and Dr. Ethan Freid (right) at the CTPC greenhouse research facilities. Photo credit: Melissa Abdo.
As part of our research activities with cycads we are participating in the 9th International Conference on Cycad Biology (at Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen, China between December 1st and 7th). Our Javier Francisco-Ortega, although was unable to attend this meeting, is co-authoring four papers on: (1) cycad anatomy [presented by Patrick Griffith from Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC)], (2) phylogeography of the Zamia pumila complex in Caribbean Islands and Florida (presented by Alan Meerow from USDA and sponsored by the National Science Foundation), (3) population genetics and conservation status of Zamia in the Bahamas (presented by Michael Calonje from MBC), and (4) molecular phylogenetics of Zamia (presented by Michael Calonje from MBC).