Frank Almeda, PhD
Curator of Botany, Emeritus
Botany, Biodiversity, Evolution, Biogeography

Using flowering plants to address questions about plant biodiversity, biogeography, and evolution, I am interested in why some families of flowering plants are so species-rich and the factors that have promoted this diversification. Can certain families of plants be used as indicators of biodiversity hotspots and can this information be useful in conservation decisions? I am also studying species in a megadiverse family of plants like Princess Flowers (Melastomataceae) to determine how they are related to one another and where they fit into the tree of life for flowering plants.

Tom Daniel, PhD
Curator of Botany, Emeritus
Botany, Systematics, Evolution

For the past 30 years the major emphasis of my research has been the study of New World Acanthaceae (shrimp plants and their relatives). Although known in temperate regions primarily for showy ornamentals, the Acanthaceae are the 11th largest family of flowering plants (with more than 4,000 species) and a prominent element of many tropical regions. Mexico and Central America comprise a major center of diversity for this family.

Rose De Guzman
Curatorial Assistant, Botany, and Research Assistant, Geology

My past work involved mostly birds. I worked in various places up and down California banding birds, doing surveys, and monitoring nests. I came to the Academy as a volunteer in 2016 in the Geology Department. Now, I split my time working as a Research Assistant for Geology and a Curatorial Assistant in Botany. I help both departments in collections care and the digitization of specimen data with the goal of making data more easily accessible. I thoroughly enjoy working with the variety of specimens from both departments.

Curatorial Assistant, Botany
Dr. Manuel Luján
John J. Rose Postdoctoral Fellow, Botany

Documenting the world's vast plant diversity has been one of the most challenging endeavors in the natural sciences. Inspired by the exuberant tropical plant diversity, my research interests started with floristic projects on cloud forests and tropical wet forest relicts in Venezuela. I have studied species diversity and taxonomy of the giant genus Croton (Euphorbiaceae) and participated in collaborative projects on the systematics of the diverse genus Ruellia (Acanthaceae).

Curatorial Assistant, Botany
Emily Magnaghi
Interim Collection Manager, Botany

I received my M.S. in Ecology and Systematic Biology from San Francisco State University in 2010, studying the genus Mendoncia (a tropical vine) in Africa and Madagascar. At CAS, I focus on curatorial projects and specimen preparation.

Nathalie Nagalingum, PhD
Associate Curator and McAllister Chair of Botany

Nathalie Nagalingum studies the evolution and diversification of plants, particularly ferns and cycads, and also oversees the Academy’s botany collection. Nagalingum is one of just a handful of researchers worldwide who studies cycads, a palm-like plant that comprises the most endangered group of organisms on Earth. In addition to her research, Nagalingum is passionate about museum science and the opportunity to use her research findings to inform broader conservation projects.

Dr. Heritiana Ranarivelo
Research Associate, Botany
Systematics, Biogeography, Taxonomy, Malagasy flora

My research interests focus on the taxonomy, systematics and biogeography of the Malagasy flora. I am conducting ongoing research on the St. John’s wort family, Hypericaceae, and the princess flower family, Melastomataceae, and am also investigating the relationships between Malagasy species and closely related groups from mainland Africa and the New World.

Jim Shevock, Botany Fellow
Research Associate, Fellow, Botany
Bryophytes

My ongoing research interests are on moss floristics and basic bryophyte inventory activities. My field work shifted around 1997 from flowering plants to bryophytes with an emphasis in bryogeography through specimen acquisition to expand the diversity of the collections within the CAS herbarium. Thirteen plant species have been named in my honor including seven flowering plants and six mosses including the moss genus Shevockia endemic to Asia.

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