FWBG | BRIT Research Teams Awarded More Than $1.95M for Plant Exploration at Home and Abroad

Last December, two BRIT botanists and their teams of colleagues were awarded separate grants from the National Science Foundation’s Systematics & Biodiversity Science Program for a combined total of $1,950,000. Drs. Alejandra Vasco (L) and Weston Testo (R) display their collections of Elaphoglossum ferns at a study site in South America in 2018. Dr. Alejandra Vasco, a fern expert, and her team of colleagues will receive $1.1M over four years to support the project “Accelerating Lineage Discovery to Document Neotropical Fern Diversity.” Beginning in late summer of this year, the team will study the diversity of ferns in Colombia, one of the most species-rich countries on Earth. Working with two graduate students and more than a dozen undergraduates, Dr. Vasco and her colleagues Dr. Weston T...
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John Atwood: The Bryophytes of the Missouri Botanical Garden Herbarium & Library

BRIT Librarian, Brandy Watts, interviews John Atwood, Research Specialist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, who discusses the Herbarium's Bryophyte Collection and the Peter H. Raven Bryology Library.
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Susan Fraser of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library

Former Vice President and Director of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at the New York Botanical Garden reflects on her tenure with the Library.
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Gina Douglas of The Linnean Society of London

Gina Douglas, Honorary Archivist of the Linnean Society of London, discusses her many fruitful and enriching years with the Linnean Society and the wonderful collections that she has worked with during her tenure.
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Searching for Mertensia through the Mountains of China

From the mountains of China, comes a botany story in search of Mertensia (Bluebells), of the Boraginaceae family. Through the summer of 2010, botanist Mare Nazaire Ph.D. of California Botanic Garden (RSA) conducted numerous field collecting trips throughout the alpine regions of China.
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Learning to “Bee” a Pollinator Supporter at the Pecan Creek Pollinative Prairie

This following is part of the “Where Are They Now?”series featuring guest posts from former interns, volunteers, staff, and friends of BRIT. This month’s post is from former BRIT intern, Delany Baum. Delany interned with the Texas Plant Conservation Program in Summer and Fall 2019. In 2016, staff and students within the ecology department at the University of North Texas in Denton stared at a four-acre plot surrounding the engineering campus at Discovery Park and saw nothing but Bermuda grass. With an extensive background in urban conservation and restoration ecology, Dr. Jaime Baxter-Slye wanted to transform this empty field into a pollinator sanctuary of native North Central Texas plants. In May of that year, Baxter-Slye received funding from the We Mean Green Fund , a sustainability ini...
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Grace Lloyd Bascopé: Flora of Belize & Maya Research Project

Resident Research Associate, Grace Lloyd Bascopé, talks about her summers in Blue Creek, Belize working on Flora of Belize & Maya Research Project.
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Collecting Collections; Tiana F. Rehman, BRIT Herbarium

Tiana F. Rehman, BRIT's Herbarium Collections Manager, tells us about the many collections that compose the Herbarium. This is the first interview of the Library's new Collection Lens series, which highlights collection managers from around the world across botanical libraries and herbaria as collections move into the future.
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A Library Encircling A Herbarium

Imagine a herbarium of just under 400,000 plant specimens in cabinets with a corresponding botany library of 40,000 books lining the periphery, along the walls of the herbarium collection accessible to researchers working in the collection. This was the design of the SMU Herbarium and Library housed on the SMU campus before moving to BRIT in 1991.
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1,000 Ascensions: Madagascar expedition

Climb 1,000 stairs, learn 1,000 new words, see 1,000 new things, share 1,000 conversations These are all just some of the steps involved in discovering new plant species and understanding plant biodiversity – or at least they were on my most recent trip to Madagascar in search of strange and wonderful plant life. The idea of 1,000 ascensions came to me on the second day in the field, on our way to Manongarivo Special Reserve – a protected area, managed by Madagascar National Parks in northwest Madagascar. As we came closer to Manongarivo, my colleagues explained a little about the park. In Malagasy, Manongarivo literally means “go up one thousand times” which refers to low mountains and hills that make up this region. If you want to go to Manongarivo, you better be prepared to go up 1,000...
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