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Johan David Reyes
Graduate Student
Edge Hill University / World Museum Liverpool

Posted 12-15-22

Twitter: @JohanDavidReye6

Johan David Reyes

Even though I have strong interests in ecological modelling and public policy in conservation, my main passion is the study of biogeographical patterns. My favourite groups are ferns (pteridophytes and lycophytes), macroalgae, and bryophytes - in that order. My research has mainly focused on the ecology and biodiversity of plants in my home country, Honduras, where previously mentioned groups seem to be understudied. With the help of amazing people, I am working towards the first Illustrated Honduran Flora (the Fern Flora Project), the country’s first national red list of an entire plant group, climate change niche displacement studies, and much more. I am expanding my research scope to include the whole of Mesoamerica, which has generally been studied by researchers from North America and Europe. As a Central American botanist, I feel a sense of duty to develop the necessary research to help policy makers make informed decisions with regards to safeguarding the vast quantity of natural resources we have.

I am still a neonate in my career, but I feel extremely privileged to have collaborated with people I admire from all over the world and by being surrounded with like-minded Central American scientists whom we share the desire to improve the knowledge of our biodiversity. So far, I would like to pursue a career which includes the utilization and management of herbariums. I started volunteering at TEFH, became a research associate at EAP, I was an intern at BM in London and currently work for LIV at World Museum in Liverpool.

Johan David Reyes

How Johan got interested in the botanical sciences:
I was certainly inspired by the rich description of the biological world in Sir. David Attenborough work, the variety of science shows during my formative years and by the outstanding biodiversity in extreme environments. To be specific, I remember vividly that my desire to become a biologist came from reading a National Geographic magazine where they described the species found under the ice sheets of the Antarctic. As a kid this captured my imagination and made me want to become a marine biologist. It wasn’t until I started studying fish that I realized I felt happier and more excited to study plants.

Johan's advice for those just starting their botanical journey:
Never be afraid of contacting someone you admire! It harbours amazing collaboration opportunities. As Gerald Holton once said “… we are now uniquely privileged to sit side-by-side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand”. Collaboration and putting yourself out there are important to achieve whatever you envision. In addition, surround yourself with kind people that will help you in your journey, but do not be afraid to move somewhere new if you feel it will lead to great personal and professional growth. At the end, each journey is different.

Other Passions:
I love traveling and exposing myself to new cultures. I feel a great amount of joy by going to museums, local markets, and being able to share a beer (or coffee) with interesting people. So sharing my time with cool people, basically.  

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