Ian Cole, recent M.Sc. Graduate in Phytochemistry at UBC, is in residence at MBC this summer, studying Montgomery Botanical’s Nypa collections. Ian is the recipient of a 2008 Montgomery Fellowship for Early Career Botanists. By using the live scientific collections of Nypa at MBC, Ian is able to bridge the areas of ethnobotanical evidence and quantitative phytochemistry. While here, Ian presented a narrative of the recent introduction of Wollemi Pine into North America, and basic research on Wollemia at UBC.

 Ian writes: “The Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis), has been the subject of curiosity, fascination, delight and even some ridicule ever since its discovery in 1994 and eventual release on the open market.  This tree is truly unique not only because it was believed to be extinct and exist only in the fossil record, but also because it is one of the first international projects to use horticultural distribution of a plant to fund Conservation. In May 2008, an experimental Wollemi forest was planted in British Columbia, Canada, to allow for realistic experimentation, and to answer many questions of this species.  Growing conditions in the field can be greatly different than those within a botanical garden or arboretum.”

Ian has been an MBC Research Associate since 2006, and has frequently used the plant collections here for his research. The Montgomery Fellows Program is generously supported by the Kelly Foundation.