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Michael Calonje


    Michael Calonje
    Cycad Biologist

    Montgomery Botanical Center
    11901 Old Cutler Road
    Miami, FL 33156 USA

    305-667-3800 ext. 112


Michael Calonje is the Cycad Biologist at Montgomery Botanical Center. His primary roles are the continued development of the cycad collection, assisting visiting researchers utilizing the cycad collection, and organizing international research and collecting expeditions.

In addition to his experience in field botany and plant collecting, Michael has worked with various botanic gardens internationally, in management, collections, horticulture, and plant records.

Michael’s research interests include cycad taxonomy and systematics with an emphasis in New World genera, particularly Zamia; as well as G.I.S. and biogeography, cycad propagation and horticulture, and ex situ conservation.


Master of Science in Environmental Systems
Humboldt State University (2005).

Bachelor of Arts in Cinema
San Francisco State University (2000).

Recent research papers

Erdei, B. M. Calonje, A. Hendy, and N. Espinosa. 2018. A review of the Cenozoic fossil record of the genus Zamia L. (Zamiaceae, Cycadales) with recognition of a new species from the late Eocene of Panama – evolution and biogeographic inferences. Bulletin of Geosciences 93(2): 185-204.

Tang, W., G. Xu, C.W. O'Brian, M. Calonje, N. M. Franz, M. A. Johnston, A. Taylor, A. P. Vovides, M. A. Perez- Ferrera, S. H. Salas-Morales, J. C. Lazcano-Lara, P. Skelly, C. Lopez-Gallego, A. Lindstrom, and S. Rich. 2018. Molecular and Morphological Phylogenetic Analyses of New World Cycad Beetles: What They Reveal about Cycad Evolution in the New World. Diversity 10(2), 38; page numbers pending. DOI pending.

Griffith, M.P., G. Barber, J. Tucker Lima, M. Barros, C. Calonje, L.R. Noblick, M. Calonje, T.M. Magellan, M. Dosmann, T, Thibault, and N. Gerlowski. 2017. Plant Collection "Half-life:" Can Botanic Gardens Weather the Climate? Curator the Museum Journal 60(4): 395-410.

Prieto, R. O., G. Brull Puebla, M. A. Calonje, L. González-Oliva, J. Francisco-Ortega, and R. Chaves. 2017. Proyecto Estado de conservación de poblaciones de Zamiaceae en Cuba. Flora y Fauna 21(1): 19-25.

Calonje, M. and A. N. Sennikov. 2017. In the process of saving plant names from oblivion: The revised nomenclature of Ceratozamia fuscoviridis (Zamiaceae). Taxon 66(1):158-164.

Calonje, M., G. Morales, C. Lopez-Gallego and F. J. Roldan. 2017. Zamia montana & Z. oligodonta, two Colombian highland species. The Cycad Newsletter 39:16-25.

Griffith, M. P., M. Calonje, A. W. Meerow, J. Francisco-Ortega, L. Knowles, R. Aguilar, F. Tut, V. Sanchez, A. Meyer, L. R. Noblick, and T. M. Magellan. 2017. Will the ex situ protocols give similar results for closely related species? Biodiversity and Conservation. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1400-2.

Salas-Leiva, D. E., A .W. Meerow, M. Calonje, J. Francisco-Ortega, M. P. Griffith, K. Nakamura, V. Sánchez, L. Knowles, and D. Knowles. 2017. Shifting Quaternary migration patterns in the Bahamian archipelago: Evidence from the Zamia pumila complex at the northern limits of the Caribbean island biodiversity hotspot. American Journal of Botany. Published online before print 17 May 2017, doi: 10.3732/ajb.1700054.

Calonje, M. 2016. Cycad nomenclature notes: regarding specimens and epitypes. Cycads 1:9-10.

Calonje, M., C. Calonje, and S. Cuestas. 2016. In search of the world's most massive seed cone. Encephalartos 124.

Clugston, J. A. R., M. P. Griffith, G. J. Kenicer, C. E. Husby, M. A. Calonje, D. W. Stevenson and D. P. Little. 2016. Zamia (Zamiaceae) Phenology in a Phylogenetic Context: Does in situ reproductive timeing correlate with ancestry? Edinburgh Journal of Botany. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S096042861600007X.

Oviedo-Prieto, R., G. Brull-Puebla, L. Gonzalez-Oliva, M. Calonje and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2016. Preliminary results of Cuban Zamia research and conservation project. Cycads 1:28-29.

Sennikov, A.S., and M. Calonje. 2016. Proposals on distinguishing between later homonyms and isonyms,with further notes on type designations. Taxon 65: 894-896.

Calonje, M., G. Morales, C. Lopez-Gallego, and F. J. Roldan. 2015. A taxonomic revision of Zamia montana and Zamia oligodonta, with notes on their conservation status. Phytotaxa 192: 279-289.

Griffith, M. P., M. Calonje, A. W. Meerow, F. Tut, A. T. Kramer, A. Hird, T. M. Magellan, and C. E. Husby. 2015. Can a botanic garden cycad collection capture the genetic diversity in a wild population? International Journal of Plant Sciences 176:1-10.

Idárraga, A. , M. Calonje & C. López-Gallego 2015-04-20. ZAMIACEAE. En Bernal, R., S.R. Gradstein & M. Celis (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Calonje, C., M. Calonje, L. Knowles, and C. Husby. 2014. Variability of Vegetative Flush Colors in Zamia (Cycadales). Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 8(2):531-540.

Carey, E. L. Gape, B. N. Manco, D. Hepburn, R. L. Smith, L. Knowles, D. Knowles, M. Daniels, M. A. Vincent, E. Freid, B. Jestrow, M. P. Griffith, M. Calonje, A. W. Meerow, D. W. Stevenson, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2014. Plant Conservation Challenges in the Bahama Archipelago. Botanical Review 80.

Salas-Leiva, D., A.W. Meerow, J. Francisco-Ortega, M. Calonje, M. P. Griffith, D.W. Stevenson, and K. Nakamura. 2014. Conserved genetic regions across angiosperms help develop low copy nuclear markers in gymnosperms: an example using cycads. Molecular Ecology Resources. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12228.

Calonje, M., A. W. Meerow, L. Knowles, D. Knowles, M. P. Griffith, K. Nakamura, J. Francisco-Ortega. 2013. Cycad biodiversity in the Bahamas Archipelago and conservation genetics of the Critically Endangered Zamia lucayana (Zamiaceae) Oryx 47: 190-198.

Lindstrom. A., M. Calonje, D. Stevenson, C. Husby and A. Taylor. 2013. Clarification of Zamia acuminata and a new Zamia species from Coclé Province, Panama. Phytotaxa 98: 27-42.

Oleas, N. B. Jestrow, M. Calonje, B. Peguero, F. Jiménez, R. Rodríguez-Peña, R. Oviedo, E. Santiago-Valentín, A. W. Meerow, M. Abdo, M. Maunder, M. P. Griffith, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2013. Molecular Systematics of Threatened Seed Plant Species Endemic in the Caribbean Islands. Botanical Review. doi:10.1007/s12229-013-9130-y.

Salas-Leiva, D., A. W. Meerow, M. Calonje, M. P. Griffith, J. Francisco-Ortega, D. W. Stevenson, K. Nakamura, C. E. Lewis, S. Namoff. 2013. Phylogeny of the cycads based on multiple single copy nuclear genes: congruence of concatenation and species tree inference methods. Annals of Botany. doi: 10.1093/aob/mct192.

Calonje, M., H. E. Esquivel, G. Morales, Y. A. Mora-Lizcano, and D. Stevenson. 2012. A new arborescent species of Zamia (Cycadales, Zamiaceae) from the Department of Huila, Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. Caldasia 34: 283-290.

Calonje, M. A., A. S. Taylor Blake, D. Wm. Stevenson, G. Holzman, and Y. A. Ramos. 2012. Zamia lindleyi, a misunderstood species from the highlands of Western Panama. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 106: 419-437.

Griffith, M. P., M. A. Calonje, D. W. Stevenson, C. E. Husby, and D. P. Little. 2012. Time, place, and relationships: cycad phenology in a phylogenetic and biogeographic context. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 106: 59-81.

Meerow, A. W., J. Francisco-Ortega, M. Calonje, M. P. Griffith, T. Alaya-Silva, D. W. Stevenson, and K. Nakamura. 2012. Zamia (Cycadales: Zamiaceae) on Puerto Rico: Asymmetric Genetic Differentiation and the Hypothesis of Multiple Introductions. American Journal of Botany 99 (11) doi: 10.3732/ajb.1200494.

Osborne, R., M. A. Calonje, K. D. Hill, L. Stanberg, and D. Wm. Stevenson. 2012. The world list of cycads. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 106: 480-507.

Calonje, M., H. E. Esquivel, D. Stevenson, C. Calonje and D. Pava. 2011.A new arborescent species of Zamia from the Central Cordillera of Tolima, Colombia (Cycadales, Zamiaceae), with comments on the Z. poeppigiana species complex. Brittonia 63: 442-451.

Calonje, M., J. Kay, and M. P. Griffith. 2011. Propagation of cycad collections from seed: applied reproductive biology for conservation. Sibbaldia 9: 77-96.

Kay, J., A Strader, V. Murphy, L. Nghiem-Phu, M. Calonje, and M. P. Griffith 2011. Palma Corcho: A Case Study in Botanic Garden Conservation Horticulture and Economics. HortTechnology 21(4).474-481

Calonje, M., A. W. Meerow, and D. W. Stevenson. 2010. The typification of Zamia erosa and the priority of that name over Z. amblyphyllidia. Taxon 59:637-642.

Calonje, M.,
D. Stevenson, C. Calonje, Y. A. Ramos, and A. Lindstrom. 2010. A new species of Zamia from Chocó, Colombia (Cycadales, Zamiaceae). Brittonia 62: 80-85.

Calonje, C, C. Husby, and M. Calonje. 2010. Germination and Early Seedling Growth of Rare Zamia spp. in Organic and Inorganic Substrates: Advancing Ex Situ Conservation Horticulture. HortScience 45:679-683.

Calonje M. 2009. A new cliff-dwelling species of Zamia (Zamiaceae) from Belize. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 3(1): 23-29.

Calonje M., J. Meerman, P. Griffith, and G. Hoese. 2009. A new species of Zamia (Zamiaceae) from the Maya Mountains of Belize. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 3(1): 31-41.

Calonje M., and J. Meerman. 2009. What is Zamia prasina (Zamiaceae, cycadales)? Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 3(1): 43-49.

Griffith, M. P., L. R. Noblick, J. L. Dowe, C. E. Husby, and M. A. Calonje. 2008. Cyclone tolerance in New World Arecaceae: biogeographic variation and abiotic natural selection. Annals of Botany 102:591-598.

Calonje  A, and M. Calonje.  2004. The Zamias and Chiguas of Colombia. Pp. 131-140 in: J.A. Lindstrom (ed.), 2004. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Cycad Biology (Cycad 2002). Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand.

Field guides

Calonje M. (ed.) 2007. Common Plants of the Upper Klamath Basin. Rabe Consulting, Koko Graphics, Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Calonje M., A. Rabe, and C.Calonje. 2005. Noxious Weeds of Klamath County: Field Identification Handbook. Koko Graphics, Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Calonje, C., M. Calonje, and A. Rabe. 2006. Forest Trails of Klamath County. Koko Graphics, Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Web authorship

Calonje, M., D.W. Stevenson, & Leonie Stanberg. 2013. World List of Cycads.



Calonje, M. and Calonje A. Cycads of Colombia CD-ROM. 2003.

Recent articles

Calonje, M., C. Calonje, G. Barber, P. Xaba, A. Lindstrom, and E.M. Agoo. 2017. Optimizing the long-term storage and viability testing of cycad pollen. Cycads 2:16-18.

Calonje, M. 2016. In search of the world’s most massive seed cone. The Cycad Newsletter 38:3-5.

Calonje, M. 2016. Cycad Focus: Zamia obliqua. The Cycad Newsletter 38:38-47.

Calonje, M. 2015. The Cycads of Montgomery Botanical Center: A Pictorial. The Cycad Newsletter 38(1): 8-9

Calonje, M. 2014. Distinguishing characteristics of some new Zamia L. species. The Cycad Newsletter 37: 10-19.

Griffith, M.P., F. Tut, W. Mesh, and M. Calonje. 2014. Eighteen people, three horses and three dogs: a cycad conservation expedition in southern Belize. Encephalartos - Journal of the Cycad Society of South Africa 116: 17-22.

Witcher, E. and M. Calonje. 2014. Using GIS to leverage plant collections for conservation BGJournal 11: 15-18.

Osborne, R., M. A. Calonje, K. D. Hill, L. Stanberg, and D. W. Stevenson. 2013. CITES and Cycads: Checklist 2013. Pp. 63-114 in Rutherford, C., J. Donaldson, A. Hudson, H. N. McGough, M. Sajeva, U. Schippmann, and M. Tse-Laurence. 2013. CITES and Cycads, a user's guide. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Taylor Blake, A.S., G. Holzman, M. Calonje, and C. E. Miranda. 2013. Zamia lindleyi Warsz. ex A. Dietr., a Western Highland Endemic of the Isthmus of Panama. The Cycad Newsletter 36:6-11.

Calonje, M. 2011. Phenology of Cycas revoluta in South Florida. The Cycad Newsletter 34(2-3):42.

Calonje, M., L. Knowles, D. Knowles, A. Meerow, C. Calonje, R. Adams, L. Johnson, S. Gilmer, P. Griffith, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2011. Following the steps of Donovan and Helen Correll: Exploring for cycads in The Bahama Archipelago. The Tropical Garden 66(4): 33-39.

Calonje C. and M. Calonje. 2010. Cold winter precedes mast coning year for female Cycas panzhihuaensis plants at Montgomery Botanical Center. Encephalartos 102: 7-10.

Griffith, P., and M. Calonje. 2010. The Sinkhole Cycad of Belize: Conservation Horticulture and a New Discovery. 2009 AZH Conference Proceedings: 26-28.

Griffith, M. P., C. E. Husby, and M. Calonje. 2010. Cycad collections development in the modern context: Challenges, opportunities, investments and outcomes. Proc. of the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress.

Calonje, M., C. Husby, and P. Griffith. 2009. The Cycad Collection at Montgomery Botanical Center. Public Garden 24: 25-27.

Tang, W., T. Gregory, I. Terry, and M. Calonje. 2008. TCS sponsors cycad expedition to China. The Cycad Newsletter 31(4): 4-9.

Calonje M. 2007. History, growth rate, and phenology of Microcycas calocoma in South Florida. The Cycad Newsletter 30(4): 20-21.

Calonje, M. 2007. Growth and Phenology of Zamia inermis at Montgomery Botanical Center. Encephalartos 91: 21-22.

Calonje, M. 2007. Phenology of Dioon Merolae. The Cycad Newsletter 30(1): 11.

Calonje, M. 2007. A Brief Visit to the Ceroxylons of Cocora Valley, Colombia. The Palmateer 27(2): 11-14.

Calonje, M., and A. Calonje.  2005. Zamia encephalartoides in the Chicamocha Canyon. The Cycad Newsletter. Vol 28(3/4) 8-11.

Calonje, A., and M. Calonje. 2003. The Horticultural Potential of Colombian Cycads. The Cycad Newsletter Vol. 26(1).

Field experience

Bahamas (2009, 2010, 2011)

Belize (2008, 2010, 2014)

Cayman Islands (2012)

China (2008)

Cuba (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Colombia (2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017)

Costa Rica (2004, 2006, 2008)

Dominican Republic (2009)

Guam and Rota (2007)

Jamaica (2008)

Panama (2007 – 2009).

Puerto Rico (2003, 2008)

United States (2004 - 2007, 2011, 2017)



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