John J. Rose Postdoctoral Fellow (former), 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). More recently, I studied the evolutionary relationships between species in Clusia (Clusiaceae) and investigated the evolution of morphological and physiological leaf characters that are related to photosynthesis. During my participation in these projects, I've had the opportunity to do fieldwork in a number of different countries in Central and South America and to interact with many wonderful collaborators. My current work at the California Academy of Sciences is an exciting opportunity to learn about the genetic diversity of endangered species of Cycas and provide a baseline to inform species conservation efforts.
Rare species are of utmost conservation concern because they have very few individuals left in the wild and a