2016 Mentors and Projects
Plant Systematics, Conservation Biology, and Ethnobotany

Tom Croat

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Tom Croat

P.A. Schulze Curator of Botany

Development of Lucid keys for genera of Araceae. Genera of Araceae are often large and morphologically challenging. Therefore, computerized interactive keys can be much more convenient and easily used for identification of specimens than traditional dichotomous keys. Croat’s research program creates interactive identification keys using the Lucid software program and makes them available online as a service to the botanical community. Opportunities are available for multiple students to work on projects that will develop Lucid keys for genera of Araceae. Current genera of interest include Adelonema (11 species), Rhodospatha (70 species), and Dieffenbachia (115 species). These projects will involve learning how to use Lucid to construct multi-entry keys for genera which do not yet have keys. Training will be given on the use of Lucid both to key out plant specimens and to make new keys. Completed keys will be published online with credit given to the trainee.

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