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Visit to Harvard University Herbaria - Following the Legacy of Linnaeus and 18th Century Atlantic Island Plant Explorers

Sunday, April 7, 2019

During April 1 to 5, our FIU-Fairchild Faculty Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega made a research visit to the Harvard University Herbaria where he was kindly hosted by Dr. Kanchi N. Gandhi, Senior Nomenclatural Registrar and recognized leading authority in plant nomenclature. Dr. Gandhi is also the main coordinator of the most important international data-base for plant names and nomenclature, IPNI (International Plant Name Index). The visit had two aims: (1) to investigate the actual identity of one of the plant species described by Linnaeus, there is contradictory information from different sources and it is not clear if this species is a Caribbean Island endemic or is a species restricted to the Canary Islands; and (2) to update the taxonomy of six species that were collected in the Atlantic islands of Madeira and Cabo Verde during the second voyage of Captain James Cook. These six species were described by botanists who joined Captain Cook during this expedition. This visit of Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega to Harvard University was sponsored by the College of Arts, Sciences and Education of FIU; the International Center for Tropical Botany of FIU; and the FIU Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center. These projects have collaborators in Fairchild (Dr. Brett Jestrow), FIU (Dr. Alan Frank), University of Lisbon, Portugal (Dr. Maria Romeiras and Dr. Cristina Duarte), Natural History Museum of London (Dr. Mark Carine), and Botanic Garden of Orotava, Canary Islands (Dr. Arnoldo Santos-Guerra). Photos below: Top (Dr. Gandhi and Dr. Francisco-Ortega in the office of Dr. Gandhi). Bottom (Dr. Francisco-Ortega in the entrance of the Harvard University Herbaria building).



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