Dr. Cristina Lopez-Gallego, Professor at the Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, is being hosted at Montgomery as part of the Kelly Research Fellows Program at MBC. Cristina is an expert on the ecology and demographics of Zamia, and is a longtime collaborator with the MBC Team.

While at MBC, Cristina continued her work studying the phenological data on MBC Zamia collections and comparing this to the extensive data on native cycads in Colombia and Costa Rica. The timing of consecutive reproductive cycles, and how these relate to new leaf production, is an area of recent interest for cycad studies.

Cristina offered a public lecture on her work at MBC, titled “Exploring the variation in life histories and population attributes in Cycads using field studies and long-term data from botanical collections.” Quoting from Cristina:

“Cycads exhibit large variation in their ecological features, like habitat, growth habit, reproductive phenology, among others. With a growing number of studies about the population biology of many cycad species across the world, we can begin to explore how species from contrasting habitats and growth habits differ in attributes like population density and stage-structure and how these differences could be the result of variation in life-history traits, for example related to allocation to fecundity and reproductive schedules in general. In this talk I will present a research program designed to investigate these questions about variation in life-history and the effects of such variation on the population biology of cycads, which could be interesting not only from a research point of view but also because of potential applications for population conservation and management.”

Cristina, Michael Calonje and Alvaro Idarraga are also studying a rare cycad from an arid part of Colombia, Zamia encephalartoides. Their project aims to determine conservation options for this species.

Please join MBC in thanking the Kelly Foundation for their generous support of the Fellows Program at MBC, which allows scholars to travel to MBC for study and research, and to share this work through lectures.