Posts tagged Conservation
Stories of Science—Brittany Harris

Brittany Harris is a fellow Ph.D. candidate at Florida International University in the Biology department and a good friend of mine. There has been a lot of concern lately with all of the fires making headlines. Since Brittany studies and works in a fire-dependent ecosystem, who better to sit down with and chat about them? She studies the effects of disturbances on pollination systems in islands. Disturbances—including natural (fire and hurricanes) and human-caused ones (mosquito spray). Moral of the story: We need to re-shape Smokey, starting fires is not good, but not all fires are bad. In order to maintain biodiversity and to prevent bigger fires later, we have to let some fires happen, we can’t control nature.

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Hot Off the Press

I am happy to announce that a paper that I have been working on for many years has finally been published in Brittonia this past week! The paper focuses on ten species in the genus Miconia (Melastomataceae), the largest genus in the family. These ten species all occur in the northern Andes in Colombia and Venezuela and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Coastal Cordillera of Venezuela, with one species endemic to Jamaica. This study illustrates the importance of field and herbarium collections. Herbaria document the world’s flora and provide a permanent record of botanical diversity. This is particularly important for endangered and threatened species such as those in the Miconia ulmarioides complex.

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Stories of Science—Tracy Commock

For the last two weeks, we have had a very special visitor at FIU and FTBG, Tracy Commock, Director of the Natural History Museum of Jamaica. I met Tracy, a fellow botanist, in 2014 and she has since become a great colleague and friend. Tracy has been paramount in developing a collaboration between UWI and FIU through an inter-institutional official agreement already in place between these two universities. I took her out for ice cream and we chatted about life as a botanist in Jamaica.

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