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2007 MBC News Archive



Morning Fog
Morning fog at Montgomery Botanical Center

December 31, 2007

The Villagers Grant Funds for Montgomery Guesthouse Restoration

Designed by architect Robert Fitch Smith and completed circa 1934, the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse is experiencing the effects of over 70 years of use; exposure to south Florida moisture has affected the subflooring of the structure. Generous funding from The Villagers Incorporated will allow Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) to begin restoring the Guesthouse, ensuring the long-term stability of this important part of the original Montgomery Estate.

Notable biologists visited the Montgomerys from as early as the 1930s. Liberty Hyde Bailey frequently stayed at the Guesthouse in the 1930s and 1940s. Richard Archbold visited in March of 1938, just weeks prior to his famous expedition to New Guinea. In 1980, Nell Montgomery Jennings expressed her desire that the Montgomery Estate be used "for visiting scientists, for educational or scientific purposes". In the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse, MBC has hosted researchers from every continent representing internationally recognized institutions.

Dr. Arthur Montgomery, the youngest of Colonel Robert Montgomery's sons, was one of the original 1959 incorporators of Montgomery Botanical Center. A noted mineralogist, he founded what is now the Montgomery Botanical Fellows Program, which is continued  through the Kelly Foundation. The Guesthouse was formally named the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse in March 1992. Arthur died in December 1999; he was 90 years old.

Montgomery Botanical offers the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse, without charge, to scientists, educators, students, and researchers so they can maximize their time with MBC's scientific plant collections.

Dr . Patrick Griffith, MBC executive director, stated,  "MBC gratefully acknowledges The Villagers for their generous funding. This historic structure has continuously supported the scientific community since its construction -- this generous grant helps that tradition continue."

December 14, 2007

Montgomery Palm and Cycad Collections Designated
Collections of National Significance

Following an in-depth review by the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC), Montgomery Botanical Center's (MBC) Palm Collection and Cycad Collection were both certified as Collections of National Significance.

"These are important accreditations for Montgomery Botanical, which directly verify our mission," stated Dr. Patrick Griffith, MBC's executive director. "Each member of the Montgomery team can share the credit for these achievements."

Chad Husby, MBC collections manager, stated, "MBC and NAPCC share the common goal of promoting focused and responsible plant conservation. Public recognition of MBC's palm and cycad collections reflects the success of MBC's ongoing efforts to practice excellence in ex-situ conservation."

Pam Allenstein, NAPCC coordinator, writes, "[MBC] stands among a prestigious group of gardens and arboreta that have committed themselves to the conservation and care of specific plant collections curated at the highest professional level." The American Public Gardens Association (formerly the American Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta), through the NAPCC, is working to promote high standards of curation for plant collections nationwide.

December 13, 2007

Montgomery Botanical Advances International Ex-situ Conifer Conservation

With support from a USDA Agricultural Research Service Germplasm Exchange Grant, Chad Husby, Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) collections manager and botanist, and Ronald Determann, conservatory and conservation director for the Atlanta Botanical Garden, successfully obtained living tropical conifer material from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). For many years, the RBGE, through its International Conifer Conservation Programme, has collected tropical conifer germplasm for ex-situ conservation and research. The material will be distributed among the participating U.S. institutions including the National Plant Germplasm System of the USDA.

For additional details, please see the MBC International Conifer Conservation Exchange Project Report.

December 7, 2007

Doctoral Candidate, Craig Brodersen, Studies MBC Collections
For Photosynthesis Research

Craig Brodersen, doctoral candidate at the University of Vermont, is using Montgomery  Botanical
Center's (MBC) extensive palm and cycad collections for his research on photosynthesis. Palms and cycads, many of which are well adapted to a high light environment, are good study species for this work. Cycads are key to this study because they proliferated during the Mesozoic Era, a time of high atmospheric carbon dioxide. By investigating cycads in this way, Mr. Brodersen's research can illuminate how deep plant lineages cope with changes in atmospheric conditions.

While here, Mr. Brodersen presented A New Paradigm in Leaf-level Photosynthesis: Direct and Diffused Light Are Not Created Equal. The photo at right shows Mr. Brodersen and the laser-powered apparatus he designed to investigate how leaves function under different light conditions. (Photo, courtesy Nathan Poirier)

November 29, 2007

Ian Watt, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, and Stephen Wagner
Study Montgomery Botanical's Cycads

Ian Watt of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, United Kingdom, and his colleague, Stephen Wagner, studied Montgomery Botanical Center's (MBC) cycad collections, evaluating their horticultural potential for southern England. Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, located on the Jurassic Coast (a World Heritage Site), is a location where many fossils continue to be recovered from the local shale deposits.

While at MBC, Mr. Watt presented a seminar on the history of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, established in 1765, which shared visuals of the rare and exotic plants grown there. In 2006, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens received a Silver Flora at Chelsea for their presentation, which featured cycads and other Jurassic plant lineages.

November 21, 2007

 Montgomery Botanical Palm Biologist, Dr. Larry Noblick, Presents Research and
Studies Palms in Peru

 Dr. Larry Noblick, Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) palm biologist, was invited to speak at the recent symposium, Research for the Development of Palms in South America. The symposium focused on the diversity and richness of palms by country and the state of taxonomy in the genera of major importance. Dr. Noblick presented two talks: The Palms of Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina; and another on the genus, Syagrus, which Dr. Noblick has studied for over 25 years. Dr. Noblick also participated in two workshops, which presented objective methods for determining the conservation status of South American palms.

 Following the seminar, the group visited palm populations in the northern Andes including areas near Gocta Falls, where many palm species remain undescribed. Dr. Noblick studied populations of an undescribed species of Ceroxylon and an Attalea not believed to be in cultivation. The group also visited a large reserve, finding Aiphanes weberbaueri and the rare Aiphanes spicata.

"The Peru symposium was an excellent opportunity for MBC to build collaborative relationships with the palm scientific community," said Dr. Noblick. "Equally important was the educational opportunity to share our knowledge with the graduate students in attendance."

November 15, 2007

Dr. Alberto Taylor Named Montgomery Botanical Research Fellow

Dr. Alberto S. Taylor, professor at the Universidad de Panamá, was recently appointed a Montgomery Botanical Research Fellow. During his visit to Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC), Dr. Taylor collaborated with MBC executive director, Dr. Patrick Griffith, MBC cycad biologist, Michael Calonje, and MBC collections manager and botanist, Chad Husby, studying MBC's Panamanian cycad collections. While at MBC, Dr. Taylor presented a public lecture: The Coontie Butterfly (Eumaeus sp.), Foe or Friend of Cycads?

Dr. Taylor is an expert in Zamia biology and a longtime colleague of Montgomery Botanical Center. Universidad de Panamá and MBC have collaborated in fieldwork since 2000. Ongoing biogeographical work by MBC and the Universidad de Panamá has done much to illuminate patterns of Zamia diversity. Dr. Taylor is serving as conference chair for the 8th International Conference on Cycad Biology to be held in Panama in January 2008.

The Montgomery Botanical Fellows Program encourages scientific and educational study of MBC's palm and cycad collections, linking distinguished scientists and their work with other scientists, educators, our next generation of scientists -- the students, and the community. The Montgomery Botanical Fellows Program is supported by generous funding from the Kelly Foundation.

November 1, 2007

Dr. Wenheng Zhang, Harvard Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Wenheng Zhang studied live floral material at Montgomery Botanical Center during the lastith her colleague, Dr. Chuck Davis, Dr. Zhang is researching the evolution of floral development in the Malpighiaceae, which has shown transitions between radial, subradial, and zygomorphic symmetry in its history.

During her research visit, Dr. Zhang utilized the live plant collections at Montgomery, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and The Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. She performed delicate dissections of these diminutive flowers, isolating the organs of interest, and then froze these specimens in liquid nitrogen for transport back to her lab at Harvard University.

Montgomery Botanical is dedicated to advancing research in botany through live plant collections; Dr. Zhang's innovative research using live collections affirms Montgomery Botanical Center's mission.

October 2007

Montgomery Botanical Center Establishes The Paul Drummond Fund

With a very generous gift from Jeff Shimonski, the Paul Drummond Fund has been established at Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC). The Fund honors the life and work of Paul Drummond, past president of the International Palm Society and lifelong palm enthusiast. MBC's Paul Drummond Fund will be used to advance the conservation of palms through expeditions to collect palm germplasm.

Mr. Drummond was born in 1924 and raised in New York City. He first admired a palm as a young boy at the New York World's Fair of 1939 and 1940; at the Fair's Florida exhibit he saw the Sabal palmetto. His love of the tropics and palms led to his moving to Miami in 1948.

Paul Drummond passed away on September 15, 2007. The palms he generously distributed as seeds and seedlings from his vast collection remain a lasting tribute. With the Paul Drummond Fund, Montgomery Botanical Center will continue to honor Mr. Drummond through dedicated fieldwork for palm conservation.

September 2007

Equipment Upgrade Made Possible by Nick Kelly and Kelly Tractor

Recently, Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) was able to upgrade its equipment fleet with significant in-kind support from Nick Kelly and Kelly Tractor. The Caterpillar 420DIT (pictured in front of the Loyd G. Kelly Spindle Palm Grove) is an ideal machine for MBC's needs. Its turbo diesel and four wheel drive capabilities will allow significant advancement of MBC's work capacity, greatly improving efficiency in collections' care. Montgomery Botanical Center deeply appreciates this important donation.

Previously, MBC's 1995 Caterpillar 416B saw 12 years of service; the MBC team derived maximum value from that backhoe. It was integral in helping develop the South Palmetum, building habitat for a large number of conservation collections, and invaluable in MBC's 2005 hurricane recovery efforts. Loyd Kelly and Kelly Tractor generously donated the 416B in 1995. (Please see Montgomery Botanical's Spring 2007 newsletter for additional information on MBC's equipment fleet.)

The Loyd G. Kelly Spindle Palm Grove honors Mr. Kelly's leadership and support during his tenure as president of The Montgomery Foundation from 1990 to 1996 -- the very important period immediately following Nell Montgomery's passing.

The Spindle Palm -- Hyophorbe verschaffeltii -- is native to Rodriguez Island in the Mascarene Islands where it is in danger of extinction.

September 27, 2007

Dr. Angelica Cibrian Jaramillo, New York Botanical Garden, Studying
MBC's Cycas micronesica

Dr. Angelica Cibrian Jaramillo, postdoctoral associate at the New York Botanical Garden, is studying Montgomery Botanical Center's (MBC) Cycas micronesica collection as part of her population genetics research.

Cycas micronesica -- indigenous to Guam, Rota, Yap, and Palau -- is in steep decline on Guam and Rota due to Aulocapsis yasumatsui scale. In 2006, C. micronesica was reassessed as Endangered on the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) Red List. Montgomery Botanical Center recently received seeds of the cycad from Guam and Rota and is playing a critical role in the conservation of the species.

 While at MBC, Dr. Cibrian Jaramillo presented a public seminar: Conservation Genomics of the Recently Endangered Cycas micronesica. Dr. Cibrian Jaramillo acknowledged the conservation value of MBC's collections. Montgomery Botanical Center will be collaborating with Dr. Cibrian Jaramillo on future projects vital to the conservation of the endangered Cycas micronesica.

September 24, 2007

Montgomery Fellow, Dr. John Dowe, Studying
Oraniopsis appendiculata

During his visit to Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC), Montgomery Botanical Research Fellow, Dr. John Dowe of the Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research, collaborated with MBC executive director, Dr. Patrick Griffith, MBC palm biologist, Dr. Larry Noblick, and MBC collections manager and botanist, Chad Husby, on his study of Oraniopsis appendiculata populations. Dr. Dowe is gathering data on the morphological variations of the upland and lowland populations of Oraniopsis appendiculata in preparation for his paper on the implications for evolutionary processes.

While at MBC, Dr. Dowe presented two public lectures: The Palms of New Guinea and South Pacific Palms: Diversity, Distribution and Extinction Processes on Island Habitats. He also presented The Palms of New Guinea at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

The Montgomery Botanical Fellows Program encourages scientific and educational study of MBC's palm and cycad collections, linking distinguished scientists and their work with other scientists, educators, our next generation of scientists -- the students, and the community. The Montgomery Botanical Fellows Program is supported by generous funding from the Kelly Foundation.

September 24, 2007

Prominent Biogeographers, Dr. Liliana Katinas and Dr. Jorge V. Crisci, Hosted at
MBC's Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse

Montgomery Botanical Center was pleased to host Dr. Liliana Katinas and Dr. Jorge Crisci of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, in the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse while they studied at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's Herbarium with Dr. Lauren Raz.

Drs. Katinas and Crisci are world-recognized authorities in biogeography and have authored Historical Biogeography: An Introduction (Harvard University Press). While here, Dr. Katinas and Dr. Crisci presented a public lecture at Montgomery Botanical Center: Southern South American Phytogeography.

Montgomery Botanical Center hosts scientists, educators, students, and researchers at the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse while they study Montgomery Botanical's scientific plant collections. Since 1991, on-site researchers from over 40 nations and every continent have stayed at the Guesthouse.

September 17, 2007

Cycas Expert, Anders Lindstrom of Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
Visits Montgomery Botanical

Anders Lindstrom, director of botanical collections at Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Thailand, and Ex situ Conservation Subgroup leader of the Cycad Specialist Group (IUCN), generously provided his insight and expertise during a cycad walk-through at Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC). Mr. Lindstrom evaluated MBC's cycad collections and provided horticultural advice. MBC collections manager and botanist Chad Husby, MBC cycad biologist Michael Calonje, MBC cycad curator Stella Cuestas, MBC assistant cycad curator Steve Chickillo, and Christie Jones, palm and cycad curator at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, participated in the informative walk-through.

While at Montgomery Botanical Center, Mr. Lindstrom also gave a public presentation about Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. Nong Nooch is at the forefront of cycad horticulture. It has a sizable landscaping business and propagates thousand of cycads annually.

September 5, 2007

Fall/Winter 2007 Edition of Montgomery Botanical News Available Online

To keep up to date on Montgomery Botanical Center news, including reports on Montgomery Botanical's expeditions, research, and conservation efforts, click on this link: Montgomery Botanical News

August 2007

Ron Determann of Atlanta Botanical Garden Visits Montgomery Botanical

Ron Determann, conservatory and conservation director at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, visited Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) to share his experience in conservatory horticulture. Chad Husby, MBC collections manager and botanist, has a long-standing, collaborative relationship with Mr. Determann. Atlanta Botanical Garden and MBC have a history of exchanging plant material.

While here, Mr. Determann presented a public lecture on the flora of New Caledonia in Montgomery Botanical Center's Nixon Smiley Meeting Room. He spoke extensively about the tropical conifer genus Araucaria. Montgomery Botanical Center has a leading collection of tropical conifers. Conifers were one of Colonel Robert Montgomery's early interests.

Before coming to Florida in the 1930s, Col. Montgomery developed an extensive private conifer collection at his summer home. The Montgomery Pinetum, located on the Colonel's former Connecticut estate, is now a National Registered Historic Site. A significant portion of those plants -- The Montgomery Ornamental Conifer Collection -- also forms the core of the Benenson Collection at The New York Botanical Garden.

Montgomery Botanical Center is open by appointment to students, educators, scientists, historians, botanical groups, and all others interested in scientific plant collections.

July 2007

MBC Hosts Dánae Cabrera, Doctoral Candidate from Instituto de Ecología, Xalapa

During the month of July 2007, Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) hosted graduate student Dánae Cabrera in MBC's Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse. Ms. Cabrera is using MBC's collections in a parallel project of her Ph.D. research, focusing on the systematics and population genetics of cycads.

Ms. Cabrera is associated with the Instituto de Ecología A.C., Xalapa, Veracruz, México. Dr. Andrew Vovides, México's leading cycad researcher and longtime Montgomery Botanical collaborator, is her graduate advisor.

While here, Ms Cabrera worked with Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega in the Florida International University/Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Plant Molecular Systematics and Conservation Lab. She was trained in the use of a molecular marker (ISSR) for Dioon genetic studies.

With this project, Montgomery Botanical Center, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and the Instituto de Ecología continue their history of collaborating on cycad research.

July 26, 2007

Montgomery Botanical Completes Successful
Cycad Conservation Expedition

Montgomery Botanical Center's (MBC) cycad biologist, Michael Calonje, has returned from MBC's Panama 2007 expedition to Kuna Yala Province. A generous donation from MBC Heritage Member, Randal J. Moore, supported the expedition. Mr. Moore's support also allowed for the participation of Dr. Alberto Taylor, cycad researcher at the University of Panama.

Extensive morphological measurements and field observations of two Zamia cunaria populations were taken by Michael Calonje and Dr. Taylor, leading to a greater understanding of the distribution and ecology of Zamia cunaria and laying the groundwork for further study. Successful international collaboration helped accomplish expedition objectives.

The nine-day expedition resulted in the addition to MBC's collection of 471 seeds -- representing eight species and 17 accessions -- of palms and cycads. The scientific data, photographs, herbarium specimens and seeds collected during the expedition have greatly increased the scientific, educational, and conservation value of Montgomery Botanical Center's collection.

For additional expedition information, please click on this link: MBC Panama 2007.

June 2007

Dr. Mónica Moraes Rámírez Continues Research
Projects at Montgomery Botanical

Montgomery Fellow, Dr. Mónica Moraes R., of the Herbario Nacional de Bolivia at the Institute of Ecology, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, collected morphological data on Montgomery Botanical's Butiinae palm collections to compare wild with cultivated specimens.

Dr. Moraes also monitored the germination and seedling development of Bolivia's Parajubaea and Bactris species as part of an experiment in progress at MBC's greenhouses. Vickie Murphy, MBC's nursery curator, is working with Dr. Moraes on this project.

While here, Dr. Moraes presented a public lecture in Montgomery Botanical Center's Nixon Smiley Meeting Room: Botanical Efforts in Conserving Palms in Bolivian Gardens.

The Montgomery Botanical Fellows Program encourages scientific and educational study of MBC's palm and cycad collections, linking distinguished scientists and their work with other scientists, educators, our next generation of scientists -- the students, and the community. Generous funding from the Kelly Foundation supports The Montgomery Botanical Fellows Program.

April 21, 2007

Montgomery Botanical Center Completes Successful
Palm Conservation Expedition

Dr. Patrick Griffith, Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) executive director, and Dr. Larry Noblick, MBC palm biologist, have returned from their three-week expedition to Trinidad and Tobago.

Drs. Griffith and Noblick collected a total of 4,884 seed. Of the 22 species of native palm in Trinidad and Tobago, population collections of 14 taxa were collected, including 69 separate seed collections from the 14 species. For details of this palm conservation expedition please click on this link: MBC Trinidad & Tobago 2007.

During this expedition, MBC collaborated closely with the National Herbarium of Trinidad and Tobago at the University of The West Indies in St. Augustine, and the Trinidad and Tobago Forestry Department.

The 2007 Montgomery Botanical Center Trinidad and Tobago Expedition was funded by a generous grant from the South Florida Palm Society. Montgomery Botanical and The South Florida Palm Society share a deep commitment to palm conservation.

April 20, 2007

Montgomery Botanical Co-sponsors Gifford Arboretum Lecture
at University of Miami

Deborah A. Clark, Ph.D., research professor for the Department of Biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, presented the 2007 Gifford Arboretum Lecture Tropical Rain Forests and Global Climate Change: A Fast-changing Science. This Gifford Arboretum Lecture was part of the Coalition for Excellence in Tropical Botany (CETroB) lecture series.

Dr. Clark is visiting Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC), planning future research projects with Dr. Carol C. Horvitz, professor of biology and director of the John C. Gifford Arboretum at the University of Miami, and Dr. Jessica E. Metcalf, post-doctoral Fellow at Duke University. While here, Dr. Clark has reviewed MBC's research collections, reaffirming the importance of long-term studies.

April 13, 2007

Spring 2007 Edition of Montgomery Botanical News Available Online

For recent Montgomery Botanical Center news, including reports on Montgomery Botanical's expeditions, research, and conservation efforts, click on this link: Montgomery Botanical News Spring 2007

April 3, 2007

Dr. Damon Little of The New York Botanical Garden Presents Public Seminar
in MBC Nixon Smiley Meeting Room

Dr. Damon Little, a research associate of The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Program for Molecular Systematic Studies at The New York Botanical Garden, presented a public seminar at Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) on the Evolution and Circumspection of the True Cypresses.

Dr. Little spoke of the progress made in settling the confusion of the sometimes controversial classification of species in the genus Cupressus. In his study, all 28 living species were sampled.

Combined anatomical, morphological, and molecular data produced the most complete hypothesis of evolutionary relationships to date; generic boundaries were modified. Now, Cupressus only applies to Old World species. New World species, formerly classified as Cupressus, are now placed in Callitropsis resulting in 17 new combinations in Callitropsis.

Dr. Little is visiting Montgomery Botanical to study cycad systematics with Dr. Dennis Stevenson, also of The New York Botanical Garden. While here, they have also helped in identifying and classifying MBC's cypress collections.

Montgomery Botanical Center educates the community through lectures, seminars, and workshops. MBC is open by appointment to students, educators, scientists, historians, botanical groups, and all others interested in scientific plant collections.

March 23, 2007

MBC Team Members Implement Data Management Efficiencies

Chad Husby, Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) collections manager and botanist, is implementing a handheld, weather-resistant PDA interface system for MBC. Laura Vasquez, MBC field supervisor, has also been instrumental in this effort. The PDA interface system will allow users to view MBC's database and enter data while in the field. Previously, field specialists would communicate this information via radio. Using handheld PDAs reduces the chance for error in the transcription of data and eliminates redundancy in the time spent recording data first, by hand, in the field and later, via computer, in MBC's database.

Michael Calonje, MBC cycad biologist, has secured ArcGIS' ArcView software through an Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)-sponsored Conservation Program grant. Using ArcView geographic information systems (GIS) software, Michael has imported information from BGBase (MBC's database), mapping data points on a world map. These interactive, intuitive maps show the provenance of Montgomery Botanical's research collections. Any portion of the map can be magnified and, by clicking on a particular accession, its data easily viewed. This is also an invaluable tool for evaluating the effectiveness of MBC's collections strategy and for planning future expeditions.

Dr. Patrick Griffith, MBC executive director, in applauding these developments, stated, "MBC's collections database has always been useful and functional. Building enhanced capability and efficiency into an existing system can be difficult, but these advancements go far in upgrading our data management abilities. That these upgrades used external funding makes this success even better."

March 10-11, 2007

Montgomery Botanical Hosts South Florida Palm Society Sale

This year, the South Florida Palm Society chose Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) as the location for its annual sale. More than 20 vendors offered over 250 species of palms for sale during the weekend event.

While at the sale, visitors had the opportunity to tour Montgomery Botanical Center grounds and see MBC's palm and cycad research collections.

"MBC hosting the South Florida Palm Society's annual sale was a natural partnership," said Dr. Griffith, MBC executive director. "We share a fundamental commitment to palm conservation and horticulture."

February 8, 2007

Michael Calonje Joins MBC Team as Cycad Biologist

Michael Calonje is the new cycad biologist at Montgomery Botanical Center. In addition to broad experience in field botany and plant collecting, Michael has worked for various botanic gardens internationally, in management, collections, horticulture, and plant records.

Michael brings important and specific expertise to Montgomery Botanical's cycad program. Michael's M.S. thesis covered ex situ
conservation of cycads. Michael has a productive history of working with MBC, having interned in 2001 and 2002, and having conducted four international expeditions on Montgomery's behalf from 2003-2006. Michael is well-known at MBC for submitting excellent data, documentation, and reports.

Examples of Michael's work can be found in MBC 2004 and 2006 newsletters. In addition to his work with cycads, Michael has authored two botanical field guides. MBC looks forward to significant advances in the cycad program through Michael's efforts.

January 8, 2007

Chad Husby Joins Montgomery Botanical Center
as Collections Manager and Botanist

Chad HusbyChad Husby has joined Montgomery Botanical Center as collections manager and botanist. Leading the Collections Development Department at MBC, Chad brings a background in plant exploration, collections management and botanical research to the position. Chad comes highly recommended by the botanical community. "Chad possesses every skill we seek, and many more skills -- we are lucky to find this considerable talent," states Patrick Griffith, MBC executive director.

Chad is ideally suited for MBC's needs, holding a B.S. in biology and mathematics, an M.S. in horticulture, and a second master's in applied statistics. Chad is currently completing his Ph.D. dissertation at Florida International University, studying the Giant Equisetum. Chad has a strong record of successful grantsmanship, local and international collaboration, research experience in horticulture, statistics, ethnobotany, morphology, and plant physiology, and a serious commitment to scientific plant collections. MBC looks forward to continued botanical accomplishments through Chad's work. 

January 8, 2007

2006 Grounds Collection Inventory Complete

Annual grounds inventory ensures that each plant in Montgomery Botanical Center's collection remains solidly associated with its data. Each plant's label and mapped location work together and provide redundancy for this all-important linkage: inventory verifies the plant's labeled identity and its location.

Statistics from MBC's 2006 grounds inventory are now available on this website via this link: www.montgomerybotanical.org/Pages/Collection.htm. (MBC was not able to perform grounds inventory in 2005 due to the unusually active hurricane season.)

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