Botany 2020 - Virtual!

Botany 2020 - Virtual! Selected Recordings

Cynthia Jones

BSA Incoming President Address
The Shapes of Botany
Dr. Cynthia Jones
University of Connecticut
2020 BSA President
Original Date July 31, 2020

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  Cynthyia uses multiple meanings of "shape" to discuss "seeing" plants and why seeing diverse plant shapes is important from the perspective of individuals, educators, and institutions. She will speak briefly about her thoughts on why the world needs botany as a discipline more than ever, and will argue that the pandemic of 2020 presents us, as botanists, an extraordinary opportunity to showcase our work and to shape the future of how plants are viewed in STEAM education. Dr. Jones will also offer ideas for possible next steps that we as individuals, scientists and educators can take with respect to communicating the importance of plants to non-botanical administrators and to the public.

Emily Sessa

Emerging Leader Lecture
Patterns and People in African Plant Systematics
Dr. Emily Sessa
University of Florida
2019 Emerging Leader Award Winner

Original Date July 29, 2020

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  The continent of Africa is home to 55 countries, perhaps as many as 3000 languages, and nearly 50,000 plant species. The ecoregions of the continent range from deserts, mountains, and extensive bushlands and savanna, to tropical rainforests and wetlands, and include the world's largest inland delta (the Okavango) as well as one of the planet's richest botanical biodiversity hotspots, the Cape Floristic Region. This talk will explore the continent's botanical diversity, including the Cape Floristic Region, Eastern Arc Mountains, Cameroon Volcanic Line, and Ethiopian "church forests", and will describe several of the unique patterns that characterize botanical diversity in Africa, including the "odd man out" pattern and continental-scale disjunctions both within Africa, such as the "Rand flora" pattern of arid plant disjunctions, and between Africa and other continents, primarily South America. I will also discuss my own research on the evolution of the African fern flora, as well as other current studies on topics of interest in African plant systematics, highlighting work that is being led by scientists based on the continent.