Capacity Building

CCSD’s capacity building programs take a multi-tiered approach to training for people of different educational backgrounds—from professional botanists and conservationists to university students and recent graduates to people in rural communities in tropical countries. Training is central to CCSD’s integrated approach to accomplish conservation goals and is a critical component of every initiative that CCSD conducts.


Training tiers

  • Field-based short- and long-term courses and internships

  • Mentoring and support for undergraduate thesis research

  • Mentoring and support for the most successful undergraduates to pursue graduate studies

  • Specialized training for diverse groups, including park guards, government officials, conservationists, and members of rural communities

  • Environmental awareness-raising and training in conservation of biodiversity

  • Fellowships for professional development at MBG


CCSD takes great pride in its extremely successful training/practice fellowships at the Missouri Botanical Garden, a program that has grown significantly in scope over the years.

The fellowships, which are well established and prestigious, provide opportunities for individuals who have completed their undergraduate degree and have achieved a certain level of professional development to carry out meaningful work in a first-class plant science and conservation institution. The fellows also have opportunities to interact with the scientific staff at the Garden/CCSD, as well as with graduate students and other visitors, and to establish contact with faculty at local universities to explore possibilities for pursuing graduate studies.

Fellowships for professional development at the Garden offered for application in 2019:

Shirley A. Graham Fellowships in Systematic Botany and Biogeography

Becas Alwyn H. Gentry para Botanicos(as) Latinoamericanos(as) 



Filipe Leite (Brazil), from State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), with the project “Taxonomy and evolutionary relationships between the species of Palicourea Aubl. (Palicoureeae, Rubiaceae)”

Landy Damian (Peru), from the Universidad Cientifica del Sur/Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, with the Project “Revision taxonomica del genero Vanilla (Orchidaceae) en Peru”

Maria Buitrago (Brazil), from the Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará, with the project “Análisis morfométricos de la variabilidad fenotípica de Ischnosiphon (Marantaceae)”

Martin Llano (Colombia), from the Herbario de la Universidad del Valle, Cali, with the Project “Historical biogeography of Anthurium section Dactylophyllium (Araceae) in the Neotropics”


Bryan Espinoza (Peru), from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, with the project “Taxonomy and distribution of the genus Frullania Raddi (Frullaniaceae) in Peru”


Bruno Olmedo (Paraguay), from the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay, with the project “Estado taxonomico de la Familia Orchidaceae (Liliopsida) en Paraguay”

Master's and Doctoral Students mentored by CCSD staff in 2017

Mentor: Matthew Albrecht
WashU: Rachel Becknell, Holly Bernardo, James Lucas

Mentor: James Aronson
Tel Aviv University: Aviv Avisar

Mentor: Christine Edwards
SLU: Alex Linan, Shih-Hui Lui, Brigette Willaims; Serena Achá, UMSL: Brock Mashburn; WashU: Rachel Lyman

Mentor: Ivan Jimenez 
Universidad de los Andes, Colombia: Yam Mellissa Pineda; UMSL: Isabel Loza; Camilo Andrés Calderón, WashU: Dilys Vela

Mentor: Leighton Reed
Universidade de São Paulo: Frederico Domene; University of Minnesota: Matthew Donald Hill; UMSL: Miguel Cháves-Fallas; Estefanía Fernández

Mentor: Sebastian Tello
Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain: Verónica Sandoya; Universidad Mayor de San Andres, Bolivia: Flabiola Montoya; Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo, Mexico: Ever Flores; UMSL: Maricruz Jaramillo; Claudia Aparicio