The 12th Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (14-15 February, 2019) organized by that Cuban Research Institute (CRI) of FIU had one panel entitled: The Natural History of Cuba: Historical and Environmental Biology Perspectives. The panel had five speakers. Haydee Borrero, PhD candidate working under the supervision of Hong Liu (faculty in FIU-Earth & Environment and Fairchild adjunct researcher) delivered a talk on orchid conservation in Cuba and South Florida. Alain Duran (postdoctoral fellow at FIU-Biology) provided a lecture on coral reef conservation in Cuba. Two of the speakers (Eugenio Santiago-Valentín from the Department of Biology of the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras and Emilio Soto, independent researcher) focused on botanical history of Puerto Rico and Cuba, respectively. Finally, Michael Calonje, cycad biologist of the Montgomery Botanical Center and graduate student of FIU-Biology (under the supervision of Javier Francisco-Ortega), talked on diversification of the cycad genus Zamia in Cuba. The panel was chaired and coordinated by our Javier Francisco-Ortega. The CRI and panel participants are grateful to Fairchild for hosting Eugenio Santiago-Valentín in its guest-apartment.
Photo below. Panel speakers and panel coordinator. From left to right: Javier Francisco-Ortega, Alain Durán, Michael Calonje, Eugenio Santiago-Valentín, Emilio Cueto, and Haydee Borrero.