January 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dr. Brett Jestrow, our Herbarium Curator (see below) and Francisco Jimenez (Head of the Department of Botany of the National Botanic Garden of the Dominican Republic (NBGDR)) have described a new genus for the island of Hispaniola, Garciadelia.(Euphorbiaceae). This genus is being dedicated to Ricardo Garcia (Director of the NBGDR) and it has only four species; all of them extremely rare and on the verge of extinction. One of the species, G. leprosa, is restricted to a single site in Haiti, and it is only known from two herbarium collections; the latest one from 1924. This taxonomic study has been published in the latest issue of Taxon (Vol. 59, Issue 6, Pages 1801-1814). This is the premier international journal in plant taxonomy and systematics. Image on the right, G. mejiae.

 Please join us to congratulate Dr. Brett Jestrow as Curator of our Herbarium. Originally from Northern California, Dr. Brett Jestrow pursued his botanical interests through the dual graduate program at Fairchild and Florida International University.  For his Ph.D. (obtained in December 2010), Brett studied the relationships of the Caribbean genera of the tribe Adelieae (Euphorbiaceae); a significant radiation of over 35 species, all endemic to the islands. Brett’s research has required collecting through the Caribbean alongside multiple collaborators, as well as developing phylogenies in the molecular laboratory work here at the Garden.

 Dr. Joyce Maschinski will be speaking to the Jupiter Island Garden Club and Residents Association on January 11 and to the Grass River Garden Club on January 12.  She will be speaking about the history and future of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s tropical plant conservation activities.

 Funded by the Mohamed Bin Zayed Conservation Funds and the Batchelor Foundation a team of botanists from the National Botanic Garden of Dominican Republic, USDA-ARS (Miami), Montgomery Botanical Center, Al Ain Wild Life and Resort (Abu-Dhabi), Florida International University, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden have just produced the first research paper on conservation genetics for any Caribbean Island palms. This study has been published in the latest issue of Journal of Heredity (Vol. 102, Issue 1, Pages 1-10). This is official journal of the American Genetic Association. The research focused on Pseudophoenix ekmanii, a critically endangered species of Dominican Republic and was based on DNA microsatellites (SSRs). Image on the right: cover page of the journal issue where the paper was published depicting an adult individual of P. ekmanii growing in Jaragua National Park.