About CCSD
Guiding Principles

The Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development (CCSD) explores and implements new, science-based approaches to the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity. CCSD’s strategies for conservation are based on a sound, scientific understanding of the occurrence, distribution, and ecology of plants.

 

CCSD is committed to the following principles:

  • Pursuit both of research in biodiversity and conservation and of conservation action
  • A focus on geographical areas where conservation need is urgent and the Missouri Botanical Garden has both expertise and a depth of  experience 
  • A commitment to continually strengthen training and exchange of knowledge with people in these priority geographical areas so that they have the tools to contribute toward building a sustainable future 
  • An emphasis on collaborative and participatory conservation

  

 
Goals

  1. Advance biodiversity and conservation research to provide a sound basis for    formulating conservation strategies and practical solutions and for advocating for these strategies
  2. Continue to apply the outcomes of research in biodiversity science and conservation biology to conserve rare and endangered plant species and their habitats and to engage St. Louis area residents with plant conservation 
  3. Further develop community programs aimed at conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and improved well-being of community residents
  4. Expand capacity building programs aimed at developing abilities to implement conservation
  5. Strengthen, and continue to build, partnerships with public and private sector organizations and agencies to foster conservation, and continue to participate in and promote the international conservation endeavor

 

The work of CCSD is made possible through the very generous
support of the Bellwether Foundation, private donors, and other funding organizations.

 

People

Matthew Albrecht, Ph.D.
Conservation Ecologist
 
Allison Miller, Ph.D.
Research Associate
 
Barbara Alongi
Senior Administrative Assistant
 
Olga Martha Montiel
Director
 
James Aronson, Ph.D.
Restoration Ecologist
Stephen Murphy
Post Doc
Global Change Ecology 
 
Burgund Bassüner, Ph.D.
Science Specialist
 
Hans Rajaonera
Communications and Education Officer,
Madagascar Program
 
Indiana Coronado
Research Fellow
 
Leighton Reid, Ph.D.
Restoration Ecologist 
 
Brad Delfeld
Research Specialist
 
Shannon Skarha
Lab Technician 
 
Noah Dell
Science Specialist
Conservation Ecology
 
Adam Smith, Ph.D.
Global Change Ecologist
 
Christine Edwards, Ph.D.
Conservation Geneticist
Sebastián Tello, Ph.D.
Assistant Scientist
 
Kelley Erickson
Post Doc
Global Change Ecology
 
Bladimir Terán 
Environmental Specialist,
Bolivia Program
 
Alan Graham, Ph.D.
Curator
 
Rodolfo Vásquez
Manager, Peru Program
 
Iván Jiménez, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist
 
Amy Zanne, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Alex Linan, Ph.D.
Post Doc
Madidi Project
 
News

Award for Rodolfo Vasquez

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Rodolfo Vasquez, director of our program in Peru,  was honored by the botanical and conservation  communities in an event in his honor, organized by   the Universidad Agraria La Molina in Lima.
He was also honored by the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment on the occasion of the celebration of the XXXIII Anniversary of the creation of the Yanachaga-Chemillen National Park for his contributions to the conservation of the Park.


List of Fellowship winners 2020

 Please find it here.


Welcome

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 We welcome Belen Alvestegui from Bolivia and William Farfan-Rios from Peru at CCSD. Belen recently finished a bachelor’s degree in biology at Universidad Mayor de San Andes in La Paz Bolivia as part of the Madidi Project. She is now pursuing a master’s degree at UMSL thanks to a Davidson & Christoph fellowship from CCSD and a Christensen fellowship from the Harris Center at UMSL. She will be studying how species traits in flowers, leaves and wood determine their rarity in Andean forests. William recently graduated with a Ph.D. from Wake Forest University, where he studied how climate change affects forests in Peru. As a postdoctoral fellow funded by the Living Earth Collaborative, William will collaborate with Jonathan A. Myers and J. Sebastian Tello to expand his research and study the responses of species and ecosystems to environmental change across the tropical Andes, a major biodiversity hotspot.


 CCSD members presented at SLEEC 2019

Brigette William (PhD student at SLU), Serena Acha (PhD student at UMSL), Stephen  Murphy (PostDoc) and Burgund Bassuner (Science Specialist) participated and presented at the St. Louis Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation (SLEEC) at the Louis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL, September 21, 2019.

 


 REU Students at CCSD

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Mahala Lorenzo (M. Albrecht, L. Reed), Amy Ann (I Jimenez), and Dorrie Wamser (Christy Edwards) were our 2019 REU students.
 


Thesis Defense and Welcome at CCSD

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Alex Linan defended his PhD thesis at st. Louis University April 23, 2019.
He was co-advised by Dr. Christy Edwards (MBG) and Dr. Allison Miller (SLU). Alex started to work as a post-doc with Dr. Christy Edward and Dr. Sebastian Tello at CCSD on the Madidi Project at the beginning of August.


Star Award
We congratulate Matthew Albrecht, who received this year's prestigious Star Award at the Center for Plant Conservation National Meeting in Chicago, May 3.

 


 Cities as "arks" for biodiversity

 Adam Smith, our Global Change ecologist, was interviewed by a reporter for an article on using cities as “arks” for biodiversity. 


Grand from National Geographic

 

Ivan Jimenez received a grant from National Geographic to support a study of how species of Espeletia, a genus endemic to the northern Andes, respond to global change. An interesting aspect of this project is that it uses anthropogenic impacts to the conservation of high elevation environments. Ivan and his collaborators, César A. Marín, from Jardín Botánico de Bogotá José Celestino Mutis and Carlos Arturo Lora, from Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia will use satellite data and field observations to conduct the study. 


 Grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC)

                 
CCSD’s conservation genetics lab got funding approved for a new project with the title
“The effect of genetic diversity on fecundity in Mead’s milkweed (Asclepias meadii)”.
Christy Edwards and Matthew Albrecht are leading the project in collaboration with the Mead’s milkweed recovery team including MDC Resource Science Division, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Missouri Department of Natural Resources, United States Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, and Missouri Prairie Foundation, Kansas Biological Survey, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Natural History Survey, and other agency biologists that manage Mead’s milkweed populations. A technician will be hired at the beginning of 2018 to manage the elaborative field work and genetic analysis of the plants.