This year Montgomery Botanical Center, along with FIU and the USDA, received a National Science Foundation grant titled, “Phylogeography and conservation genetics of the Caribbean Zamia clade.” This grant funding is supporting the investigation of patterns of genetic variation in the Caribbean populations of Zamia throughout their range using microsatellite DNA markers. This research is testing the convergence of genetics and evolutionary history.
NSF Intern Nicolas Espinosa, currently an undergraduate at Florida International University focusing on environmental studies and biology, is working at MBC, Fairchild, and the USDA to learn about the different topics associated with tropical zamias.
The Caribbean Islands form a biodiversity hotspot with global conservation priority. This research will outline conservation strategies for Caribbean cycads, which are all endangered species. Please join us in celebrating this great achievement and welcoming Nicolas to the team.