Tropical Plant Conservation News

Archive - May 2012

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Site Manager of Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve Visits Fairchild

Fri, May 25, 2012 at 07:09:54 PM

Mark Daniels, Site Manager with the Bahamas National Trust's Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Eleuthera Island, the Bahamas) is visiting Fairchild during this week,Hosted by our Brett Jestrow during this visit Mark will discuss the progress of our current joint projects and the development of new ones in the areas of research, conservation, horticulture and education. This visit is a continuation of a recent joint field trip to collect material for the living collections of the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve and Fairchild.


FIU Undergraduate Students Perform Orchid Research at Fairchild

Fri, May 25, 2012 at 06:11:51 PM

Three undergraduate students from Florida International University [Shannan McCaskill (FIU-Biology), Erin Praver (FIU-Env), and Christine Beck (FIU-Env)] will be working with Jason Downing during this summer. These students will be using the facilities of the molecular lab and the CTPC greenhouse during this summer. Their research will be under the academic supervision of Dr. Hong Liu and will focus on the biology of two closely related species in the orchid genus Cyrtopodium. Top Image from left to right: Christine Beck, Erin Praver, and Shannan McCaskill.


Grant Received to Support Symposium to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Publication of "Flora of the Bahama Archipelago"

Mon, May 21, 2012 at 10:38:03 AM

The Bahamas Environmental Fund has funded a grant proposal for the organization of a symposium on Caribbean Biodiversity to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the publication of "Flora of the Bahama Archipelago". The symposium will take in the Bahamas (October 30 - 31 at Nassau). The Bahamas National Trust is the primary organizer of this symposium in association with the College of the Bahamas, Fairchild, and FIU-Biology. The grant has Brett Jestrow (curator of the herbarium of Fairchild), Ethan Freid (botanist of the Bahamas National Trust), and Javier Francisco-Ortega (FIU-Fairchild faculty) as Principal Investigators. Click here for further details about the symposium.


Dr. Alejandro Barbieri (FIU-Biology) Joins Fairchild as Research Associate

Fri, May 18, 2012 at 10:36:43 AM

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has a commitment for the use of its living collections for science and conservation. This includes applied research with biomedical applications. The coming Science Village will have state of the art facilities that will contribute to develop new research lines, including natural products with taxonomic and biomedical potential. As part of this commitment and our outstanding academic/research ties with FIU, Dr. Alejandro Barbieri has joined us as a Research Associate. Dr. Barbieri is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences of FIU. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Argentina, and between 1993 and 2000 had a post-doctoral position at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Barbieri had also held a Research Assistant Professorship at Washington University in St. Louis from 2000 to 2004. Dr. Barbieri joined FIU-Biology in Fall of 2004 and his laboratory is funded by extramural funds from the National Institute of Health. Dr. Barbieri uses cutting-edge biochemical, cellular, and molecular techniques to identify key cellular targets of inhibitory compounds in mammalian cells. Three other FIU members of his lab, Maria L. Veisaga, Horacio A. Priesta and Chris Chin, also join Dr. Barbieri and the Fairchild team as research collaborators.


Javier Francisco-Ortega Travels to Puerto Rico to Conduct Academic and Research Activities

Mon, May 14, 2012 at 10:43:32 AM

Invited by the Center for Applied Tropical Ecology and Conservation of the Universidad de Puerto Rico (sponsored by the National Science Foundation) Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega travelled to Puerto Rico between May 7 and 10. During this visit Javier was hosted by Dr. Eugenio Santiago-Valentin (Director of the Herbarium of the Botanic Garden of the University of Puerto Rico). The visit involved delivering a lecture as an invited speaker for an undergraduate course on Island Biology (instructor: Eugenio Santiago) and also performing research. Plant material of endemic species of Wallenia and Ardisia (both genera in   the   Primulaceae)  was collected  for  molecular systematic studies. In addition, historical botany research pertinent to the contributions of Domingo Bello to the flora of Puerto Rico was performed. Jose Sustache (the Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales of Puerto Rico) and Omar Monsegur (Fish and Wildlife Service) joined Eugenio and Javier during this visit. Image (from left to right): Jose Sustache, Eugenio Santiago, and Omar Monsegur  standing near an individual of Leptocereus quadricostatus (Cactaceae), one of the species endemic to Puerto Rico that were described by Domingo Bello.


The National Science Foundation Supports Undergraduate Research

Mon, May 14, 2012 at 10:18:30 AM

Our welcome to Nicolas Espinosa, Fairchild Challenge Alumnus and undergraduate student of Florida

International University who has returned to work with us as a research intern this summer. His internship is being funded by a NSF project on systematics, conservation genetics, and phylogeography of Caribbean cycads (grant number DEB1050340, PIs: Javier Francisco-Ortega, Alan Meerow (USDA), and Patrick Griffith (Montgomery Botanical Center). During this internship Nicolas will be hosted by the Herbarium of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (mentored by Dr. Brett Jestrow and Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega). Nicolas will gain experience in the use of optical microscopy techniques for systematics of Zamia. Nicolas joined this research team on May 7th and will be primarily looking at leaf epidermal traits. His research blends with the extensive anatomical and morphological studies of cycads currently undertaken by Patrick Griffith, Andrew

Vovides (Botanic Garden of Xalapa, Instituto de Ecologia, Mexico), and Barry Tomlinson (University of Harvard and National Tropical Botanic Garden). The image shows Nicolas examining epidermal peels from Zamia floridana.



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Recognizes Conservation Work Undertaken by Fairchild's South Florida Conservation Biologists

Fri, May 11, 2012 at 10:44:31 AM

Dr. Joyce Maschinski and the Fairchild South Florida Conservation Team received the 2012 U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional Recovery Champions Award for significant contributions to the conservation and recovery of South Florida's endangered and threatened flora.  We feel very honored to have received this recognition. Image (from left to right): Joyce Maschinski, Jennifer Possley, Devon Powell, and Sam Wright.


Postdoctoral Fellow Supported by NSF Joins Laboratory of Ken Feeley

Fri, May 04, 2012 at 10:45:28 AM

Dr. Paulo Olivas is awarded a prestigious NSF postdoctoral fellowship to work in the laboratory of Ken Feeley on  "Determining the effect of climate change on the carbon dynamics of the high elevation tropical humid puna".  Paulo will be joining the Feeley lab for 2-3 yrs starting in January 2013.