Plant Systematics, Conservation Biology, and Ethnobotany


Dr. Tom Croat

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Dr. Tom Croat

P.A. Schulze Curator of Botany, MBG

Research Interests

• Systematics and Ecology of Neotropical Araceae
• Floristics of Araceae for Neotropical Areas
• Horticulture of Araceae
• Phenological Variations of Neotropical Floras

Web Page: International Aroid Society, MBG, Frontiers of Discovery

Aroid Flora of the Volcán Pichincha Region in Ecuador; Aroid Flora of Cordillera del Cóndor (Ecuador and Peru); Aroid florula of the Pacto-Mashpi Region (Pichincha Province) Ecuador. Tom Croat is a widely acknowledged expert on the aroid family, Araceae, a very large and diverse family in the tropics. He maintains a living aroid collection of over 10,000 plants. Dr. Croat spends much of his time in the field collecting aroids in the Andes and Amazon regions of South America. His field collection numbers recently surpassed 100,000. Most recently he has been collecting plants in the Volcán Pichincha region of Ecuador, the Cordillera del Cóndor in Peru. These areas are geographically isolated on the edge of the Amazon basin, with numerous endemic species. With guidance, students will learn to identify known species using diagnostic keys and herbarium collections. New species are expected and students will assist Dr. Croat in their description and publication. Undergraduate students working with Croat have accomplished this successfully on many occasions in the past. Students will also compile lists of species from these regions, and use Sorenson's Index and other indices to compare species richness, endemicity, and floristic relationships of the aroids in these sites to other areas of South America. All of these projects will involve sorting out species of Araceae, describing new species and publishing new species with the senior author; developing and using Lucid interactive key technology to determine collections; dealing with both dried and living collections of Araceae. See more about aroids and the Principal Investigator at

Selected Publications 

• Croat, T. B., A. Jackson and C. V. Kostelac. 2010. New species of Araceae from the Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador. Willdenowia 40: 123-136.
• Croat, T. B. and A. Acebey. 2005. New species of Araceae from Bolivia and the tropical Andes. Novon 15: 80–103.
• Croat, T. B. and J. Chapera. 2005. A New Endemic Species of Anthurium (Araceae) from Brazil. Aroideana 28: 49-51.

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