2020 Mentors and Projects
Plant Systematics, Conservation Biology, and Ethnobotany

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Pete Lowry, Ph.D.

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Pete Lowry, Ph.D.

Senior Curator
Director of the Africa & Madagascar Program

Research Interests
• Flora and vegetation of Madagascar
• Flora and vegetation of New Caledonia
• Systematics of Apiales

Wendy Applequist, Ph.D
Associate Curator and Acting Director
William L. Brown Center

Research Interests
• Malagasy flora
• Plant systematics
• Identification, quality control, and systematics of medicinal plants

 

Description of new species of Ellipanthus (Connaraceae) from Madagascar. Lowry is a Senior Curator and the Director of the Africa & Madagascar Program. He has over thirty years of experience in conducting taxonomic and floristic studies of the flora of Madagascar, a biological hotspot known for the extremely high percentages of species that are endemic and threatened. Applequist, the current REU program PI, is an Associate Curator in and Acting Director of MBG’s William L. Brown Center, with research interests involving medicinal plants and taxonomy of the flora of Madagascar. A student working with them will study herbarium specimens of Ellipanthus (Connaraceae) in depth, learn to distinguish existing species, identify new species, take data and measurements from them, and write descriptions. The genus Ellipanthus currently has two accepted species, both of which are endemic to Madagascar. However, the last taxonomic treatment of the genus dubiously lumped several species into a single one. Furthermore, collections by MBG botanists in recent years have supplied specimens that are not identifiable as any known species. The student working on this project will carry out a formal taxonomic revision of the genus and be a co-author of a publication.

 

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