June 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The laboratory of Dr. Joyce Maschinski has just received funding support for their SouthFlorida Conservation work from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. This will help the team with their work with Jacquemontia reclinata, rare ferns and the Connect to Protect program. 

Dr. Lisa Krueger has accepted a position as an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin.  Although Lisa is leaving us, she will continue her research with Jennifer Possley on using native grass seeds for restoration in South Florida.

Melissa Abdo was one of the invited presenters at a sustainable communities event hosted by Pecha Kucha Miami at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. The event drew more than 200 local and global professionals who viewed presentations on innovative ways to support conservation and cutting-edge methods to develop sustainable communities.

The latest issue of the prestigious journal Botanical Review is devoted to Orchid Conservation. This special issue has been edited by our FIU-Fairchild faculty Dr. Hong Liu and one of our main partners in China, Prof. Yi-Bo Luo (Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences). It contains the proceedings of an international symposium on orchid conservation that took place in May 2009 in the Yachang Orchid Nature Reserve (Guangxi Autonomous Region, China). The  symposium was funded by the Guangxi People’s Government and the Guangxi Forestry Bureau, and it was organized by Dr. Liu and Prof. Luo. Fewer other plant groups are so species-rich and ornamentally important as orchids. However, orchids also represent paradigms for conservation concerns. This special issue of Botanical Review is clearly a major milestone for those interested in Tropical Plant Conservation and will help to highlight the importance of the Yachang Orchid Nature Reserve as a model for in situconservation of orchids world-wide.

The CTPC welcomes one of our new graduate students, Tonya Simon Fotinos. Tonya is one of the new FIU-Fairchildgraduate students who will start with us this coming Fall. Tonya will be studying conservation genetics of rare species in Florida and the Caribbean as part of her masters degree. Dr. Eric von Wettberg will be her graduate advisor.

Specimens from Fairchild’s herbarium collection have recently been used as educational tools in several classes, in order to illustrate lessons about plant adaptations and to provide examples of some of South Florida’s rarest plants.

Prof. Sean Carrington from University of the West Indies, Barbados visited us on June 3rd. Prof. Carrington is one of the leading botanists in the region and author of the most recent floristic treatment for Barbados. During this visit he was hosted by our Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega and Melissa Abdo and we discussed potential joint projects with Lesser Antilles endemics. He kindly gave us a signed copy of the Second Edition of his "Wild Plants of Barbados" published in 2007. Prof. Carrington will start a sabbatical leave at the Smithsonian Institution this coming Fall.