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Science News

Fossil Plant Research Helps Unravel Plant Evolution

field camp

Chicago Botanic Garden scientists received a grant from the National Science Foundation to collect and study fossil plants from Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, China. The three-year grant to Patrick Herendeen, Ph.D., and Fabiany Herrera, Ph.D., funds an international team of scientists to investigate the diversity and evolution of plants 66 to 250 million years ago when ecosystems changed very rapidly.

Scientists to Lead Biodiversity Conservation Workshop in Indonesia

Two Chicago Botanic Garden scientists received funding to organize a workshop promoting international collaborative research on biodiversity conservation in a global biodiversity hotspot. Nyree Zerega, Ph.D., and Jeremie Fant, Ph.D. received a grant from the National Science Foundation to convene a meeting of U.S. and Indonesian biodiversity scientists spanning expertise in organisms from coral reefs, fungi, microbes, insects, bats, and plants.

Rare Plant Program Trains Scientists in Southern Illinois

Monitoring plants in southern IL

Plants of Concern, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s citizen science rare-plant monitoring program, made steps toward extending its boundaries to southern Illinois. Many rare plants occur in southern Illinois, and local communities want to assess the health of these plant populations. However, they currently lack a standardized method of large-scale monitoring of rare plants. Plants of Concern (POC) scientists traveled to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) in mid-May to train members of Dr. David Gibson’s lab in rare-plant monitoring techniques as part of a U.S.

Climate Change Harms Plants

Chicago Botanic Garden scientists learn more about how climate change affects plant populations. Climate change is causing plant species to flower earlier around the globe. Some plants experience severe frost damage to their flower buds when they flower too early, but that may not be as bad as drought associated with climate change.

Endangered Bumble Bee Found in Chicago

Gruver researching bees by the Metra track

Chicago Botanic Garden and Northwestern University Master’s student discovers critically endangered rusty patch bumble bee residing within the City of Chicago. In August 2018, Chicago Botanic Garden and Northwestern University graduate student Andrea Gruver discovered the critically endangered and federally listed rusty patch bumble bee (Bombus affinis) foraging at flowers at the Rogers Park Metra station in Chicago. Gruver’s unexpected observation of the endangered pollinator happened as she conducted research on the native bees of Chicago.

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