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 2018:

Shirley A. Graham Fellowships in Systematic Botany and Biogeography



Cássia Cristiane da Conceição Bitencourt, Brazil, Bahia
Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana
“Systematics and biogeography of Asclepiadoideae (Apocynaceae) with focus on Metastelmatinae core group: implications for the phyloconservation of rupestrian grasslands and savannas”

Juan Fernando Carrión Rodríguez, Brazil, Bahia
Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana
“Phylogeny and biogeography of Bernardia (Euphorbiaceae), with a synopsis of the South American species”

José Luis Solís Benavides, Chile, Isla Teja
Universidad Austral de Chile, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
“Genetic analysis to identify accessions in the Potato Genebank of the UACh to facilitate their effective use and management”


Marco Vinicio Cedeño Fonseca, Costa Rica, San Jose
Universidad de Costa Rica
“Sinopsis del género Monstera (Araceae) para Costa Rica”



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